The saga continues for Taman Rimba Kiara

EVER heard of David defeating the Philistine giant Goliath (Jalut)? For the Taman Rimba Kiara (TRK) saga, the story has not ended. David’s genealogy goes back to Prophet Abraham (Ibrahim).

In TRK’s case there is also an Abraham but on Goliath’s side. The latest is, David has to face another Goliath in the form of a former Federal Court judge (FCJ). And for TRK, God did not make the iron soft for ‘David’. Therefore, the saga continues…

I guess TRK could be the only relatively small development project that has to go through cabinet and had the touch of one of the Council of Eminent Persons (CEP).

It has been more than four years and many things have been said about this controversial project, including many reports to the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) without a single update.

With due respect to the FCJ, the central issue in TRK is not the 36 years promise of accommodation for the longhouse residents. It was the cabinet who agreed 12 years ago to gazette Bukit Kiara which includes TRK as a green lung. It clearly shows that Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) has not fulfilled its promise for so long and is justifying its actions now.

Further, a news report stated that DBKL, the regulatory body for the development, has commercial interest in the development via Yayasan Wilayah Persekutuan (YWP). At the original RM3 billion gross development value (GDV), YWP’s share of profit is RM160 million.

Why does a Yayasan under DBKL needs to make so much money in a single development? And is it taxable? Aren’t there available land elsewhere to carry on with the development?

It is acceptable for statutory bodies to appoint their own legal counsel without going through the Attorney-General’s Chambers and to seek the best defence available to protect their interests. But it is strange why DBKL needs another Goliath, on pro bono, since they are sure of winning the case.

Is the confidence lacking now? I think it is best not to trouble the FCJ and let him focus on the world renowned 1MDB case. Besides, Cecil Abraham – in the legal team – is regarded as one of Malaysia’s leading counsel, known to be devastatingly effective in court.

It seems DBKL is loading its legal team against residents in this case of public interest and not for any profit motive.

Since it is not rocket science, the FCJ and the team may want to visit the site and talk to the two residents’ associations there on their views, separately.

The visit should also include another member of the federal administration, Deputy Women, Family and Community Development Minister Hannah Yeoh, who happens to be the member of Parliament for Segambut, which includes TRK.

Given the above, with the cabinet, CEP and the Goliaths, would there be a chance for the residents to win this case? Or history will be rewritten where David is defeated.

David’s only strength in TRK is patience and the need to protect a green lung for future generations to enjoy. And at the end of the day he will not be bestowed with kingship, prophethood, much less profits.

What say you… – November 27, 2019.

* Saleh Mohammed reads The Malaysian Insight.

* This is the opinion of the writer or publication and does not necessarily represent the views of The Malaysian Insight. Article may be edited for brevity and clarity.

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