Was MBPJ trying to pull a ‘fast one’ on residents?

by Terence Fernandez and

Azril Annuar, fz.com

Is the Petaling Jaya City Hall (MBPJ) trying to hoodwink residents to push through the Universiti Malaya Medical Metropolis (UMHM)?

That is the impression Section 12 residents are getting following a temper-filled town hall meeting on Saturday, which saw around 100 residents staging a walkout.
Resident and former MBPJ councillor Mak Khuin Weng said MBPJ did not put up notices in the media and only 11 houses received notice for the meeting.
“They quoted Section 12A of the Town and Country Planning Act 1976 in the letter inviting the residents to come for the meeting. However, only 11 houses received the notifications and when we found out, that’s when we decided to go for the meeting,” Mak told fz.com.
He said even councillor Lee Suet Sen who chaired the meeting admitted it was a mistake to quote Section 12A as MBPJ did not advertise in any newspapers.
“It was also premature to call UM and the developers to make a presentation or have a dialogue with us as it pre-empts the procedures and process,” said Mak.
He also questioned the point of having the freedom of information if the residents there are not furnished with any information.
Councillor Derek Fernandez agreed, saying he “will get to the bottom of this” during today’s One Stop Centre (OSC) meeting.
“I was not able to attend the previous OSC and the dialogue because I was in hospital. However, I will find out whether or not the proper procedures were observed.
“First of all, I want to find out if it was a statutory meeting. And if it was a statutory meeting, under what power was it called? It is okay to deliver notifications to houses but they should have also advertised in two newspapers for a few days so anyone who wished to object would be made aware,” said Fernandez.
As only 11 houses received the notification, it was clear that MBPJ’s announcement was “insufficient”, he said.
Agreeing that MBPJ’s actions over the meeting could leave the impression that the authority was trying to “pull a fast one”, Fernandez said he would have put a stop to the meeting if the proper procedures were not observed.
Selangor Menteri Besar Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim had expressed support for the project but it was shelved – possibly due to the general election.
Ironically, the OSC had on Dec 7, 2011 rejected the proposed development for contravening basic planning laws as the residential area had not been re-zoned.