• Nallini said the housing issue was a separate obligation by the state to the settlers, and DBKL should not cite the lack of provision of housing for them to justify the development order.

KUALA LUMPUR (April 18): Fresh from winning the legal battle to preserve Taman Rimba Kiara, the residential associations in the Taman Rimba Kiara development case are now urging the authorities to help the 100 longhouse families secure permanent housing and keep the green lung as a city park.

In a joint statement, Save Taman Rimba Kiara Working Group, Persatuan Penduduk Rumah Panjang Bukit Kiara, and Taman Tun Dr Ismail Residents lauded the Federal Court’s Tuesday decision on the Taman Rimba Kiara case as a “landmark victory for our community and neighbouring communities who have been relentless and unwavering their fight and commitment to preserve” the park.

A three-judge bench comprising Chief Judge of Malaya Datuk Mohamad Zabidin Mohd Diah, Datuk Nallini Pathmanathan and Datuk Rhodzariah Bujang, had quashed an appeal by the Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) to reinstate the proposed Taman Rimba Kiara development project.

In 2017, DBKL had issued a development order for the construction of eight blocks of luxury serviced apartments of up to 52 storeys, one block of affordable housing and an eight-storey podium car park.

The development order was quashed by the Court of Appeal when it overturned an earlier decision by the High Court rejecting a joint bid by TTDI residents for a judicial review to obtain a certiorari order to dismiss the city hall’s conditional planning permission and development order.

The groups now urge Yayasan Wilayah Persekutuan (YWP), new KL mayor Kamarulzaman Mat Salleh and Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim (who has oversight of the city’s administration via Jabatan Wilayah Persekutuan under the PM’s Office) to join them in efforts to deliver “affordable and low density permanent housing for the affected longhouse residents within the four acres of the rumah panjang (longhouse) in Taman Rimba Kiara”.

“We have previously outlined a viable alternative plan to deliver such housing for the longhouse residents and we call on Datuk Bandar (mayor) KL and the prime minister to work with us on delivering the same.”

“Permanent housing can be delivered without having to destroy the adjacent green area in Taman Rimba Kiara,” they said.

The longhouse residents were initially promised housing in the affordable apartment block that was in the proposed development.

In delivering the judgement, Nallini said the housing issue was a separate obligation by the state to the settlers, and DBKL should not cite the lack of provision of housing for them to justify the development order.

The associations have also urged all parties to comply with current or future KL planning documents including the KL Structure Plan 2040 in maintaining Taman Rimba Kiara’s status as a public space.

The court found that the KL Structure Plan 2020, gazetted in 2004, was legally binding which identified the area as a city park and a public green space.

Nallini said the development order had contravened the structure plan which was also against the Federal Territories Act.

YWP as the landowner of Taman Rimba Kiara had entered into a joint venture (JV) with Memang Perkasa Sdn Bhd to develop the land. Memang Perkasa was to pay RM160 million to YWP in stages, but the JV had to get the approval from DBKL for the project.

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