KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 25 — The Federal Territories Ministry today denied that Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) had paid high fees to hire lawyer Datuk Seri Gopal Sri Ram as its legal counsel in the ongoing Taman Rimba Kiara case.
In a statement, DBKL said Gopal offered to take on the case on a pro-bono basis, without any cost to them.
“When the offer was referred to the legal firm representing DBKL in the case, they agreed to take it up,” said the ministry.
The Malaysian Insight earlier today reported the dissatisfaction and unhappiness of Taman Tun Dr Ismail residents at Gopal’s supposed hiring, complaining that the former judge’s costly legal fees would be borne by taxpayers.
The Tanah Rimba case, now in its fifth year, sees the residents opposed to a development project consisting of nine apartment blocks, part of a joint venture between Yayasan Wilayah Persekutuan (YWP) and Memang Perkasa Sdn Bhd.
It is feared that the project will end up destroying up to 10 hectares of green space, said to be one of KL’s last green lungs.
Despite efforts by Federal Territories Minister Khalid Abdul Samad to scale down the development plan to four blocks and 204 affordable houses, this too has been largely rejected by the residents.