PUTRAJAYA (Jan 19): Thirty-nine strata owners and tenants of Ampang Park Shopping Centre lost their appeal in regard to the land acquisition for the Klang Valley Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) Ampang park station.
The three-panel Court of Appeal led by Justice Datuk Abang Iskandar Abang Hashim upheld yesterday the decision made by the Kuala Lumpur High Court on June 30 last year and ruled that the appeal had no merit.
“Having considered the submissions by the counsel, we are of the view that there are no merits in this contention by the appellants (strata owners and tenants).
“It stands to reason that although the MRT line would run underground substantially if not total, work would still have to commence and proceed from above ground,” he said.
The 39 strata owners had appealed against the dismissal of their application for review to challenge the land acquisition which the high court ruled, was made according to stipulated laws.
The judge also held that the court did not see any mala fide on the part of the respondents in coming to a decision to compulsorily acquire the property.
“In conclusion therefore, having considered the submission by both counsels, we unanimously feel that there are no merits in the contention by the appellants pertaining to the issues as raised by them,” he added.
Abang Iskandar said the acquisition of the appellants’ land as per their strata titles was done in compliance with the law; that the respondents had not infringed the fundamental right to property as enshrined under the constitution.
He ordered the strata owners and tenants to pay RM70,000 to the respondents, that is, RM30,000 to the Federal Territories Land and Mines director and the Federal Territories Land administrator, and RM40,000 to MRT Corp.
Senior federal counsel Shamsul Bolhassan, represented the Federal Territories Land and Mines director and the Federal Territories Land administrator, while counsel Robert Lazar represented MRT Corp.
Lawyers Datuk Zainur Zakaria, Datuk Edward Ng Boon Seong, Jason Ng Kau, and Adnan Seman represented the appellants.
The owners of the business premises at the Ampang Park Shopping Centre filed the application on Jan 8 this year, and had also named the Federal Territories Ministry and the Malaysian government as respondents.
However, on Jan 20, they withdrew the two as respondents from the judicial review application.
They had sought a declaration that the Form D, dated Aug 17, 2015, and Form E, dated Oct 22, 2015, under the Land Acquisition Act 1960 issued by the respondents were unconstitutional, illegal, null and void.
On April 18, 2016, the High Court allowed MRT’s application to be an intervenor in the application and named as a respondent.
This article first appeared in The Edge Financial Daily, on Jan 19, 2017. Subscribe to The Edge Financial Daily here.