KUALA LUMPUR City Hall (DBKL) has so far spent RM1.106mil on legal costs for the Taman Rimba Kiara lawsuit, between 2018 and 2021, says the Federal Territories Ministry.
The ministry revealed the amount in a Parliamentary written reply to a question from Segambut MP Hannah Yeoh.
In the reply, it was stated that DBKL had spent RM333,123.80 in the High Court between 2018 and 2019; and RM433,446 in the Court of Appeal last year.
The case is now in the Federal Court and DBKL was reported to have spent another RM339,841.50 last year, on the matter.
DBKL had approved the proposal for a mega housing development that was believed to encroach into the public park.
In 2017, residents living in the vicinity of the park filed a judicial review to quash the conditional planning permission and development order issued by DBKL for the project.
The High Court rejected residents’ judicial review.
However, the Court of Appeal delivered a unanimous decision, in favour of the residents, declaring the development order as invalid in January last year.
Later, DBKL and other parties to the case obtained leave to appeal to the Federal Court against the Court of Appeal decision.
In a statement, Taman Tun Dr Ismail Residents’ Association (TTDI RA) chairman Abdul Hafiz Abu Bakar said they were disappointed at DBKL’s egregious use of public funds to fight the public in court.
Instead of acknowledging the error in its development approval as decided by the Court of Appeal, he said DBKL has chosen to spend even more public funds by pursuing an appeal in the Federal Court.
“As the appeal before the Federal Court is still pending, DBKL is likely to incur further legal costs beyond the total RM1.106mil that has been paid out so far,” he said.
On behalf of TTDI RA, Abdul Hafiz questioned the judgement of the Kuala Lumpur mayor and Federal Territories Ministry in relation to the use of public funds to fight the public in court.
“These are public funds, which could have been used for many other needs, including housing, infrastructure improvements, road repairs and Covid support,” he said, adding that they wondered how much Yayasan Wilayah Persekutuan – a foundation by the ministry to look into welfare matters and is the joint venture partner of the project developer as well as being party to the same case – would have spent.