Why bother with fresh hearing, pressure group says on Tiara Titiwangsa project

A new public hearing is slated for the Taman Tiara Titiwangsa development project following the court decision to nullify the earlier hearing by the Kuala Lumpur City Hall. (Bernama pic)

KUALA LUMPUR: NGO Selamatkan Kuala Lumpur (SKL) has dismissed the need for a fresh hearing for residents in Taman Tiara Titiwangsa who are up in arms over a high-density project on Yayasan Wilayah Persekutuan land.

SKL deputy chairman M Ali said residents had already stated their objection to the project, and that another hearing could give rise to unfairness and questionable conduct.

“Why put the residents through the ordeal again when they have already rejected the project?” he said, adding that the Court of Appeal had, on March 13, thrown out the Kuala Lumpur City Hall’s (DBKL) earlier public objection hearing.

“DBKL and those associated with the judgment must give due respect and not make a mockery of the case, to the detriment of the people,” he told FMT.

He was referring to remarks by Federal Territories Minister Khalid Samad, who said DBKL would hold a fresh public hearing for objections to the project after the court declared the previous hearing null and void.

Khalid said the court had ruled that DBKL did not adhere to Rule 5 of the Planning Development Amendment Rules 1994 under the Federal Territory Planning Act 1982 as it failed to provide the social impact assessment and traffic impact assessment reports requested by residents during its public hearing last year.

Ali said residents in Bukit Bandaraya, Bangsar Utama and Bukit Persekutuan had faced a similar situation when meeting with DBKL.

“Whenever we ask the officers to update us on developments, they tell us that they are not obliged to do so. Even on changes to development plans, they told us that communication is between DBKL and the developers, and that residents need not be kept in the loop.

“So what’s the point of a Rule 5 hearing if they are going to conduct it in this manner?” he said.

He said SKL had repeatedly told the federal territories minister that those involved in drafting the Kuala Lumpur City Plan 2020 from DBKL, the ministry or professional bodies should have no say in the preparation of 2040 plans as they would likely have vested interests.

He also claimed that several Kuala Lumpur MPs had promised to engage with SKL on a periodical basis immediately after the general election last year.

“We have yet to get an update from them,” he said.