City Hall panned for using public funds in court fight over Taman Rimba Kiara project

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Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) has spent RM1.1 million to date fighting Taman Tun Dr Ismail residents in court over the Taman Rimba Kiara project, the suburb’s residents’ association (TTDIRA) said, expressing dismay at the use of public funds to oppose taxpayers.

The RM1.1 million was spent as of last year for legal proceedings at the High Court and Court of Appeal over the validity of DBKL’s decision to give development approval for the mega condominium project.

TTDIRA said it was now alarmed that despite the Court of Appeal’s unanimous decision in January 2021 in favour of the residents to declare the development order invalid, DBKL was spending more of taxpayers’ funds to pursue an appeal at the federal court.

“TTDIRA expresses its dismay and disappointment at the egregious use of public funds by DBKL to fight the public in court,” the association said in a statement today.

“TTDIRA questions the judgment and decision-making of the Federal Territories minister and his ministry in relation to the use of public funds to fight the public in court.

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“These are public funds that could have been used for many other needs, including housing, infrastructure improvement, road repairs, Covid support, among others.”

The figures on the sum spent were obtained from a written reply to a parliamentary question by Segambut MP Hannah Yeoh, who had asked the Federal Territories minister to state legal and other costs spent by DBKL in the lawsuits over the condo project.

TTDI residents initiated the suit in 2018 over the project that would encroach on the Taman Rimba Kiara public park, besides causing congestion and adding to the density of the well-developed suburb.

The RM1.1 million includes RM433,466 spent on legal fees at the Court of Appeal.

With its pursuit of an appeal at the Federal Court, DBKL has to date incurred an additional RM339,841.50 in legal costs to obtain leave to appeal to the apex court. – TMI