No conflict of interest in DBKL’s development order over Taman Rimba Kiara project, Federal Court told

PUTRAJAYA: Yayasan Wilayah Persekutuan (YWP) told the Federal Court that there was no conflict of interest when Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) issued the development order for the proposed Taman Rimba Kiara project.

Lawyer Tan Sri Cecil Abraham, representing YWP, submitted before a three-member panel of the court that the Kuala Lumpur mayor did not sit in any of the meetings to approve or issue directions for the issuance of the development order for the project.

He said the development order was not signed by the mayor but by a director in the DBKL planning unit, adding that the order was issued after it went through a thorough and transparent process.

He said the Court of Appeal erred in its findings that there was a conflict of interest as the Kuala Lumpur mayor was a member of the board of trustees of YWP when the development order was issued by DBKL to YWP and developer Memang Perkasa Sdn Bhd to develop the land.

Abraham said the Joint Venture Agreement (JVA) was a conditional contract between YWP, a foundation under the Federal Territories Ministry, and Memang Perkasa to develop the land and that the JVA did not concern DBKL, which is not a party to the JVA.

He said that YWP and Memang Perkasa were the legal and beneficial owners of the land for the proposed development, and they are entitled to dispose of the land in any manner so long it does not contravene the law.

He was submitting in the appeals brought by the Kuala Lumpur mayor, Memang Perkasa, YWP and Bukit Kiara Public Housing Residents Association.

They want to reinstate the development order dated July 13, 2017 issued by DBKL for the development of eight blocks of high-end serviced apartments and 29-storey apartments, comprising 350 units of affordable housing to be built on the land.

On Jan 27 last year, the Court of Appeal ruled in favour of Taman Tun Dr Ismail (TTDI) residents, who through management bodies of Trellises Apartment, Kiara Green Townhouses, Residence Condominium, TTDI Plaza Condominium, The Greens Condominium, TTDI Residents Association and four TTDI residents and houseowners, filed a judicial review application in 2017 to quash the conditional planning permission and development order issued by DBKL.

They lost their case in the High Court on Nov 28, 2018.

In their judicial review application, the residents sought to quash the development order for the proposed development project.

They claimed that the 10.08ha Taman Rimba Kiara is a public park located in TTDI and Bukit Kiara area and a green lung of Kuala Lumpur.

The court resumed the appeal hearing today, which was conducted virtually with Abraham and lawyer B. Jayanthi, representing the Bukit Kiara Public Housing Residents Association, making their submissions.

The court heard submissions last Friday from lawyer B. Thangaraj representing the Kuala Lumpur mayor, and lawyers Datuk Seri Gopal Sri Ram and Khoo Guan Huat representing Memang Perkasa.

In the proceedings, Abraham also submitted that the Court of Appeal was wrong in its findings that the planning permission application for the project was made jointly by Memang Perkasa and YWP.

"Documentary evidence before the High Court clearly demonstrates that the application for planning permission was made solely by Memang Perkasa," he said on Thursday (April 28).

Hearing before Federal Court judges Justices Nallini Pathmanathan, Rhodzariah Bujang and Mohamad Zabidin Mohd Diah continues on July 25.

TTDI residents were represented by lawyer Datuk Dr Gurdial Singh Nijar. - Bernama

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