Ray of hope
for Bukit Gasing folk
27/04/2009 The Star By YIP YOKE TENG
RESIDENTS of Bukit Gasing are delighted that the High Court has granted
them leave to proceed with an application to nullify the development order
on a Bukit Gasing project issued on Oct 2, 2007 by the then Kuala Lumpur
mayor Ruslin Hassan.
The application for leave was filed by residents and the Joint Action
Committee of Bukit Gasing (JACBG) in an effort to seek a public hearing on
the said development.
The next hearing has been set for May 27.
“We clearly believe that our call for justice has been heard by the
judge,” said JACBG committee member Gary Yeoh.
“We demand from the City Hall our right to be heard, especially after the
tragedies at Bukit Antarabangsa, Bukit Ceylon and Jalan Semantan. We are
talking about 890 units in three condominium blocks, a 23million-litre
reservoir and Bukit Gasing that has a history of being geologically
unstable,” he added.
Another resident Kamar Mohamed urged the Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) and
new mayor Datuk Ahmad Fuad Ismail to act in accordance with the Prime
Minister’s call of “people first” and “performance now”.
“We hope they won’t waste any more of the court’s time and show us
transparency in approving and executing projects,” he said.
Lawyer R. Sivarasa, who represented the residents, said the judge had
ruled that the case was not vexatious and had therefore given the green
“Justice Lau Bee Lan sees this as a serious issue that needs to be
debated, agreeing that we have a point and the residents deserve to be
heard,” he said.
He said the issue to be raised at the next hearing would be whether
residents in Kuala Lumpur had the right to be heard when a development
project took place near their houses.
According to him, the local authority had denied the request for a public
hearing based on the Federal Territory Planning Act 1982, which stipulated
that such action was not required when the development did not involve
change of land use and density.
“However, the rest of the country has the right to do so as stated in the
Town and Country Planning Act 1976 (Amendment) 2001, regardless of the
change of land use or density,” he said.
In a press statement, the developer, Gasing Meridien Sdn Bhd (GMSB), said
it was concerned that Justice Lau “had left opened a matter of whether the
complainant had legal interest to apply for a judicial review of the
development order”, adding that it would work with its counsel to make
additional presentations at the next hearing.
It reiterated that all approvals, including the Development Order,
Hoarding Permit and Earthworks Permit, had been obtained and that the
project had been reviewed by the Sensitivity Committee of the Federal
Territories Ministry, which comprised 13 agencies (including the Malaysian
Public Works Institute (Ikram), Selangor Department of Environment (JAS),
Mineral and Geosciences Department (JMG), Drainage and Irrigation
Department (JPS) and JKR Cerun).
“Our development is not part of the forest reserve. Our land has been
privately titled with the express land use condition of ‘Bangunan’ since
1977 (well before any of the complainants came to live in the area). We
highlight that there has been no change in use or density,” the statement
“The geology of the area is safe and sturdy. For almost two decades, it
has sustained not just many bungalows but even condominiums weighing over
64,000 tonnes each.
“We highlight that in comparison the load per bungalow is less than 180