KUALA LUMPUR: Taman Tun Dr Ismail residents, who have been battling the government and City Hall (DBKL) over a development project at a park, today welcomed the Court of Appeal’s decision that ruled in their favour.
The Save Taman Rimba Kiara Working Group said the decision was a major victory for them and neighbouring communities “which had been relentless and unwavering in the fight and commitment to preserve Taman Rimba Kiara”.
“This long and difficult struggle has been made possible because of our collective unity, perseverance and commitment to protect our green space against the might of commercial interests, coupled with the staunch support of our Segambut MP, Hannah Yeoh,” they said in a statement.
The residents said they will continue to seek a fair resolution to permanent housing for longhouse residents living within the compound of Taman Rimba Kiara.
“They are our neighbours and partners in the TTDI community and we will stand by them.
“Let us work together to deliver affordable, low-density and permanent housing to the longhouse residents within the existing four acres of the Rumah Panjang and leave Taman Rimba Kiara to be the wonderful public park that it already is,” they said.
Earlier today, the appeals court allowed the TTDI residents’ appeal against a lower court’s decision and quash the government’s decision to develop the public park.
Judge Mary Lim, who sat with fellow judges Has Zanah Mehat and M Nantha Balan, ruled that there was a need for appellate intervention in the case.
The residents had sought a judicial review against the proposed development, consisting of a 29-storey apartment block with 350 units of affordable housing, and eight blocks of serviced apartments, with a total of eight storeys for parking.
The project was to be undertaken by property developer Malton Bhd, through its subsidiary Memang Perkasa Sdn Bhd, and Yayasan Wilayah Persekutuan, a foundation chaired by the federal territories minister.
Meanwhile, Yeoh said that this TTDI issue was “difficult” for her to handle.
“After the matter was filed in the High Court, I tried to convince the new FT minister to cancel the development order. He scaled it down instead.
“I felt that Pakatan Harapan could have done better than just scaling down the development approved by Barisan Nasional. I went to see many politicians to argue my case. Some agreed with me, some felt I was being unreasonable,” she said in a statement.
Yeoh said her verbal exchanges with former federal territories minister Khalid Samad were widely covered by the media and supporters from both sides of the political divide said the open infighting was “terrible”.
“Some accused me of fighting for the rich at the expense of the poor. Some used the race card against me.”
She said she would now focus on helping the longhouse residents be provided with proper homes.