The High Court delivered a blow to former Bukit Jalil estate workers, dismissing their injunction application to stop DBKL from demolishing the former estate houses.


KUALA LUMPUR: The High Court today dismissed an application by the former Bukit Jalil estate residents for an injunction against the Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL), which had proposed to demolish houses of the former rubber estate.

Justice Zabariah Mohd Yusof in her ruling said DBKL had the authority to evict them under the Emergency Ordinance.

She also dismissed an application for interim injunction pending appeal.

However, the residents have said that they will not let off their fight for proper compensation and would be filing an appeal against the ruling today.

On March 1, the 41 families residing in the former estate were slapped with eviction notices by DBKL, asking them to move out within two weeks.

But they obtained an interim injunction after an ex-parte hearing on March 14 to stop the eviction notice under the Emergency Ordinance.

The notices were referring to an offer made by the Federal Territories and Urban Well-Being Ministry in February, offering RM23,000 each to those who have worked on the estate for more than 15 years while the rest were offered RM11,000 each.

This offer has not been accepted by the former estate workers or their next of kin.

At a press conference later, Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM) secretary-general S Arutchelvan said they were upset over the ruling.

“Based on natural justice, it will be inhumane for DBKL to demolish the houses till the trial is over,” said Arutchelvan who was flanked by the estate action committee secretary S Thiakarajan and Hindraf Makkal Sakthi national coordinator K Balakrishnan.

Seeking Najib’s intervention

Arutchelvan urged Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak to intervene and stop DBKL from demolishing their homes.

“This case has much in common with the Kampung Buah Pala incident. Though the residents there had their application for injunction rejected, the state government intervened to ensure the developer did not demolish their houses before the trial was over.

“So now, we are asking Najib to intervene here. Besides, Ladang Bukit Jalil is government-owned land,” Aruchelvan said.

In 2009, 23 families in Kampung Buah Pala had their homes demolished after a legal tussle with developer Nusmetro Ventures which had acquired the land.

However, the state government intervened and compensated the villagers.

Lawyers for Liberty coordinator Fadiah Nadwa Fikri said she was disappointed with the ruling and would be filing an appeal on behalf of the residents by today.

“It is sad that the judge had said DBKL was empowered under the EO to evict them when even the minister (Federal Territories and Urban Well-Being Minister Raja Nong Chik Raja Zainal Abidin) had recognised them as former estate workers,” she said.

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