MORE THAN MEETS THE EYE: AMPANG PARK OWNERS LOSE APPEAL OVER FORCED LAND SALE TO ‘BUILD MRT STATION’

PUTRAJAYA – The Court of Appeal has dismissed the judicial review application filed by 39 strata owners and tenants of the Ampang Park Shopping Centre seeking to challenge the land acquisition for the Klang Valley Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) Ampang Park station.

In upholding a High Court decision made on June 30 last year, the three-member panel led by Justice Abang Iskandar Hashim said the application had no merit.

“Having considered the submission by the counsel, we are of the view that there are no merits in this contention by the appellants.It stands to reason that although the MRT line would run underground substantially, total work would still have to commence and proceed from above ground,” he said.

“We also do not see any mala fide on the part of the decision-maker in coming to its decision in compulsorily acquiring the appellants and their properties,” added Justice Abang Iskandar.
On June 30, the High Court dismissed the judicial review application filed by the appellants after finding that the approval given by the Federal Territories Land and Mines director (first respondent) and the Federal Territories land administrator (second respondent) for the land acquisition was made lawfully.

The Court also agreed with the submission by MRT Corp, the third respondent, that the objective of the land acquisition was for safety.

Justice Abang Iskandar said they “unanimously feel” that there were no merits in the contention by the appellants pertaining to the issues raised, as the acquisition of the land and properties complied with the law.

“The fundamental constitutional right to property had also not been infringed upon by the respondents,” he said.

He ordered the strata owners and tenants pay RM30,000 in costs to the first and second respondents and RM40,000 to the third respondent.

The appellants’ lawyer, Datuk Zainur Zakaria, told reporters later they would discuss their next course of action after the details of the judgment is received.

Senior federal counsel Shamsul Bolhassan represented the Federal Territories Land and Mines director and land administrator.

Robert Lazar appeared for MRT Corp.

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