Monday April 27, 2009
(excerpts from an article printed in the Star)

Ray of hope for Bukit Gasing folk

By YIP YOKE TENG

The High Court has granted leave to proceed with an application by residents and the Joint Action Committee of Bukit Gasing to seek a public hearing on the said development.

Lawyer R. Sivarasa, who represented the residents, said the judge had ruled that the case was not vexatious and had therefore given the green light.

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 reads.

“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 tonnes each.”