IF it’s meant to be, it will be. But through consistent hard work and tireless efforts, residents of Taman Tun Dr Ismail (TTDI) have had their silent prayers answered at the Court of Appeal in the morning of January 27 on the Taman Rimba Kiara (TRK) case.The court unanimously issued a certiorari order quashing the development order (DO) obtained in 2017 in a joint venture by Yayasan Wilayah Persekutuan and a private developer to develop TRK.The saga started about five years ago and many things have been said about this controversial project, including many reports lodged with the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) without a single update.The RM3 billion gross development value (GDV) project supposedly will give a profit of RM160 million to the land owner.Residents from the very beginning believed that the processes and procedures for planning permission and issuing of the DO were flawed and in breach of natural justice and this is a case of public interest.But the high court denied their judicial review application in 2018, citing no locus standi and even slapped costs.The long and tiring struggle was possible, motivated by the noble intentions of upholding the rule of law and ensuring the voice of the rakyat be heard by the authorities.Everyone irrespective of race or religion came together and did their part with commitment and at their own costs. The Segambut MP, YB Hannah Yeoh, was always around giving full support in terms of ideas, time and resources.The final aim is to preserve a part of a green lung that is fast depleting for future generations to enjoy against the might of commercial interests. TTDI is a mature township and most residents are senior citizens. This is not a case of fighting for the rich at the expense of the poor, where the longhouse with 100 families is sited. Residents had to contend with the Philistine giant Goliath who have all the resources at their disposal.Done at the Court of Appeal but there is the apex court, the Federal Court. It is hoped that we do not have to go this route as the costs and expenses to be incurred by DBKL is money supposed to be spent on KL residents and not fighting against KL residents.Meantime, work has to be done to fulfil DBKL promises made nearly 40 years ago, to give permanent housing to families at the present longhouse. If parties put their heads together, it is achievable.Moving forward, we have to ensure rule of law is adhered to like strict adherence to the SOP during this pandemic. It takes less time to do a thing right than to explain why we did it wrong.By the way, I trust the parent company of the developer of the project would have disclosed the result of this case to Bursa since it is a listed company. I guess there are other areas that faced similar issues and residents do not know how to get their voices heard.I hope local councils be more rakyat-friendly and try to balance the wants of developers with the needs of the rakyat. The rakyat pay yearly assessments but developers come and go.What say you? – January 28, 2021.* Saleh Mohammed reads The Malaysian Insight. * This is the opinion of the writer or publication and does not necessarily represent the views of The Malaysian Insight.
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