KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 1 — The Federal Court has granted leave to four applicants to challenge the Court of Appeal’s decision to quash a development order for a proposed high-rise project in Taman Rimba Kiara.
The unanimous decision was read out by Chief Judge of Malaya Tan Sri Azahar Mohamed, who chaired a three-judge panel, after deliberating oral submissions from all relevant parties including the four applicants in question — Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) Mayor, developer Memang Perkasa Sdn Bhd, landowner Yayasan Wilayah Persekutuan (YWP) as well as an association representing the Bukit Kiara longhouse residents
“Having regards of the facts and circumstances of the present case and the implication of the judgment of the Court of Appeal, we agree with the submissions of the applicants in cases number 17, 18, 19 and 20 (referring to the aforementioned parties) to the effect of four core points namely the point of locus standi, the legal effect of KL structure plan point, duty to give reasons point and conflict of interest point are questions of importance upon which further arguments and a decision of this court would be to the public advantage,’’ he said.
Azahar had also informed the applicants that all questions where leave is allowed must be on these four core points.
Among the questions submitted by the four applicants included whether an applicant seeking judicial review of a development order is required to come within the terms of rule 5(3) of the Planning (Development) Rules 1970.
Another point raised is whether the KL Structure Plan is a legally binding document which a planning authority must comply with when issuing a development order.
Representing the KL Mayor was B. Thangaraj, Datuk Seri Gopal Sri Ram for Memang Perkasa Sdn Bhd, Cecil Abraham for Yayasan Wilayah Persekutuan (YWP) as well as Datuk Gurdial Singh Nijar, who represented Taman Tun Dr Ismail residents, had also provided his oral submission to the court today.
On January 27, the Court of Appeal decided to quash a development order for the proposed high-rise project in Taman Rimba Kiara, allowing an appeal by the residents association of the adjoining Taman Tun Dr Ismail against an earlier government decision.
Datuk Mary Lim, who chaired the three-judge panel, ruled that there were sufficient grounds to set aside the development order dated July 13, 2017.
The proposed development project was first introduced during Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor’s tenure as the federal territories minister in 2016. It was carried forward into the Pakatan Harapan government, where Khalid Samad fulfilled the same role. Tan Sri Annuar Musa also held the portfolio under the Perikatan Nasional administration. However, following the change of administration under Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob, Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim is the incumbent at present.
The development, which has been mired in controversy since mid-2016, was to include high-end service apartments as well as affordable housing units for TTDI longhouse residents.
The proposed development was to consist of a 17-storey block of 204 affordable housing units meant for the Bukit Kiara longhouse community, and four blocks of 41- to 45-storey condominiums, comprising 1,082 units in total.