The injunction aimed at preventing DBKL from demolishing their homes before a full-hearing on the status of the residents is heard.Judge Zabariah Mohd Yusof ruled that there were no flaws in the eviction notices issued by DBKL, as argued by the lawyers for the residents.
Zubariah ruled that the defendant, DBKL, can legally cite the Emergency Ordinance 1969 (Squatter Clearance) to evict the residents despite not being the landowner of the former estate.
Hence, she said, the eviction notices served on the residents by DBKL were legal.
“There is also evidence of efforts (by DBKL) to relocate the residents and compensate them,” she said to a packed courtroom.
Zubariah did not address the argument by DBKL that injunctions should not be granted against government agencies, arguing this would prevent them from discharging their public duties.
The residents’ lawyer, former Bar Council chairperson Ambiga Sreenevasan (below), then requested for an interim injunction order pending the full-trial of the residents’ claims in October.
“If the injunction is dismissed, it will completely undermine our efforts for the houses not to be demolished until a full-trial is heard,” she told the court.
Zubariah denied her request.
Zubariah had also referred in her judgment to the Federal Territory Islamic Department (Jawi) as being the rightful owner of the land, a fact which was not widely known before.
Speaking to reporters later, Ambiga said the biggest concern now is to safeguard the houses before a full-trial can be heard.
“Hence, we will be applying for interim relief at the Court of Appeal today,” she (left) said, adding that the residents will also be appealing against the High Court decision.
If the interim relief is not granted, Ambiga said she hopes DBKL and Jawi will refrain from demolishing the last 41 houses on the estate in cosideration of the principles of natural justice.
Lawyer Fadiah Nadwa Fikri (right), who also represented the residents, said she disagreed with the grounds of the court’s decision, which deems the former estate workers as squatters and who can thus be evicted under the Emergency Ordinance.
“This is despite many correspondents, including a deputy minister, acknowledging that they are former estate workers,” she noted.
The residents later gathered at the entrance of the court complex, and vowed to defend their rights.
PSM secretary-general S Arutchelvan, who has been advocating the residents’ cause, said he will pursue the matter with Prime Minister Najib Abdu Razak since two petitions have already been sent
“If any house in Bukit Jalil Estate is broken down, I will hold the PM responsible,” he said.
Arutchelvan said the Prime Minister’s Office had replied to his letter, but only sought more information on the case.
See the original story in komunitikini.com
By Leven Woon, 10 May 2011, www.malaysiakini.com