TTDI residents had to demand Taman Rimba Kiara traffic report, lawyer tells court

Noel Achariam

Lawyer Gurdial Singh, representing Save Taman Rimba, at the Court of Appeal in Putrajaya today. – The Malaysian Insight pic by Nazir Sufari, January 15, 2020.

THE developer of a condominium project in Taman Rimba Kiara should have provided the project’s traffic impact assessment (TIA) report to Taman Tun Dr Ismail (TTDI) residents ahead of public hearings and not when demanded, the Court of Appeal heard today.

Lawyer Gurdial Singh – who is representing the TTDI residents fighting the development backed by the Federal Territories Ministry – submitted today that, while there was no legal obligation for the developer to provide residents with the TIA, it should still have done so out of “material consideration”.

“This is so that those objecting to the proposed development can give their views and then the planning authorities (Kuala Lumpur City Hall) can decide how to proceed,” he said at the Court of Appeal in Putrajaya today.

The TIA was only presented to residents after they began their legal challenge to the project.

“It was only after that they (the developer) put it in their affidavit. It was (submitted) only when we began questioning them on it.

“It was not given at that time to the objectors to give their feedback at the public hearing. It only came long after the development order was made,” Gurdial said.

A group of TTDI residents, under the Save Taman Rimba group, are appealing a lower court’s dismissal of their application for a judicial review to challenge approval for the development.

The project consists of nine blocks of apartments in a venture between Yayasan Wilayah Persekutuan (YWP) and Memang Perkasa Sdn Bhd, a subsidiary of Malton Bhd.

By statute, the Federal Territories Minister has to be chairman of YWP, a point critics have said is a conflict of interest.

KL City Hall approved the joint venture in 2014, when Barisan Nasional’s Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor was the minister.

TTDI residents say the project will destroy 10ha of one of the last remaining green lungs in Kuala Lumpur.

Under Pakatan Harapan, Federal Territories Minister Khalid Samad has been negotiating for a scaled-down project comprising four blocks of serviced apartments and 204 affordable housing units, which the Save Taman Rimba group has also rejected.

Lawyer Gopal Sri Ram who is representing KL City Hall argued that the TIA was discussed with stakeholders, whose views were taken into account in a revised report.

The Appeals bench – comprising judges Mary Lim, Haszanah Mehat and S. Nantha Balan – is hearing the case.

The hearing continues on February 7. – January 15, 2020.

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