The High Court today allowed an application by the mayor of Kuala Lumpur to strike out a suit by the residents of Bukit Jalil Estate over an eviction notice and demolition of their houses.
Justice Zabariah Mohd Yusof, who made the ruling in chambers, also ordered the residents to pay RM10,000 in costs to the mayor.
Counsel Ashmadi Othman, who appeared for the mayor, told reporters the judge held that there was no merit in the application and also no cause of action against the mayor.
Asked whether, with the ruling, the mayor could demolish the residents’ homes, Ashmadi said he could but he did not know what the mayor’s next step would be.
Counsel K. Ragunath and Muhammad Afiq Mohamad Noor acted for the residents. Muhammad Afiq said they would appeal against the court’s decision.
In the application, filed on May 27, the mayor sought to strike out the claim on the grounds that the suit was vexatious, frivolous and abuse of court process.
The residents filed the suit on March 14 against the mayor, seeking a declaration that the plaintiffs had exclusive right and equity on the land and sought an injunction to prevent Kuala Lumpur City Hall from demolishing their homes.
On May 10, Justice Zabariah dismissed their application for an interim injunction to stop City Hall from demolishing their homes.
Yesterday, the Court of Appeal dismissed their appeal over the injunction. The Bukit Jalil Estate, formerly made up of 18,000 acres (7,284 ha), was reduced to 26 acres (10.5 ha) after recent development of the land.
During the hearing of the injunction on April 27, the court was told that City Hall had given 26 acres of the land to the Federal Territory Islamic Affairs Department to build a Muslim cemetery.
The residents’ counsel Ragunath had submitted that the residents were not squatters as they did not trespass on the land.
He said they had been living there for some time after the estate was sold to a private developer. Ashmadi countered that the mayor was only carrying out his public duty by issuing the eviction notice and that the suit against the mayor was improper.