Tmn Rimba Kiara appeal: Lawyers to submit on AG's Report 2019 relevancy

·3-min read
Tmn Rimba Kiara appeal: Lawyers to submit on AG's Report 2019 relevancy
Tmn Rimba Kiara appeal: Lawyers to submit on AG's Report 2019 relevancy

A portion of the Auditor-General's Report 2019 touching on the issue of the development order for Taman Rimba Kiara is a public document accessible to the laypeople, the Federal Court ruled.

The three-person bench chaired by judge P Nallini today said that the issue of the document's relevance could be submitted during the hearing of the main appeal by Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) and three others to reinstate the development order (DO).

The apex court ruled this when dismissing an application by Taman Tun Dr Ismail (TTDI) residents to adduce fresh evidence in the appeal, namely parts of the AG's report. They are the respondents in the appeal.

On Jan 3 this year, the Edge Markets reported that the TTDI residents filed the fresh evidence application, as they contended the findings in the AG's Report - filed in Dewan Rakyat on Sept 28 last year - are material and relevant to the present appeal.

The TTDI residents contended that this is because the findings relate to the issue of whether the Taman Rimba Kiara DO contravene the KL Structural Plan, which they claimed focused on the vision of creating a sustainable city.

However, DBKL and the other three respondents seeking to reinstate the Taman Rimba Kiara DO - Yayasan Wilayah Persekutuan, developer Memang Perkasa Sdn Bhd and an association representing longhouse residents in Taman Rimba Kiara - had objected to the TTDI residents' application.

In dismissing the TTDI resident's application this morning, Nallini ruled that this is because the A-G Report is a public document accessible to the man on the street and can be part of the appeal record for the hearing of the said main appeal.

"As the document is a public document, it is admissible as of right. The issue of its admissibility (as well as relevancy) can be argued during the appeal proper (involving the Taman Rimba Kiara DO).

"The application is struck out. The document (A-G Report) is allowed in the appeal record," Nallini ruled in the unanimous verdict.

The other members of the Federal Court bench today are Zaleha Yusof and Rhodzariah Bujang.

'Win-win solution'

On Sept 1 last year, the Federal Court granted leave to DBKL and the other three appellants to proceed with the appeal to reinstate the DO over a portion of Taman Rimba Kiara public park.

However, the apex court has yet to hear the merits of the appeal proper, with lawyers expected to attend case management today to fix the date to hear the merits of the appeal.

DBKL, the foundation, the developer and the association are appealing against the Court of Appeal decision on Jan 27 last year, which allowed an appeal by the TTDI residents to quash the DO for the development of part of Taman Rimba Kiara.

The TTDI Residents' Association then had hailed the Court of Appeal's decision as a major victory in the fight to preserve the public park.

DBKL issued the DO on July 13, 2017. The project was first proposed by former federal territories minister Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor in 2016.

The proposed project comprises four 40-storey luxury service apartments (1,082 units) and one 17-storey affordable housing block (204 units).

Several protests were held in 2016 and in subsequent years against the proposed development of Taman Rimba Kiara.

During the Pakatan Harapan federal administration, then federal territories minister Khalid Samad proposed a scaled-down development and called it a "win-win solution" as it saved the ministry from having to compensate the developer RM150 million if the project was cancelled.

The project was reduced from 4.9ha to 3.2ha. Taman Rimba Kiara spans 10.1ha.

During today's Federal Court online proceedings conducted via zoom, lawyer Gurdial Singh Nijar represented the TTDI residents.

Counsel B Thangaraj, Cecil Abraham, Khoo Guan Huat and Harpal Singh appeared for DBKL, the foundation, the developer and the longhouse residents' association, respectively.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting