KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 20, 2016:

The High Court here has granted leave to 39 petitioners, who are also the business operators at the Ampang Park Shopping Centre, to commence a judicial review against a land acquisition proceeding for the MRT Sungai Buloh-Serdang-Putrajaya Line (SSP Line).

High Court Judge (Appellate and Special Powers Division) Datuk Hanipah Farikullah granted the leave today when the matter came up for first hearing in the chambers.

Lawyer Datuk Edward Ng, who is acting for the petitioners, told reporters at the Kuala Lumpur Court Complex lobby that the court had also granted an interim stay to stop the land administrators from issuing any further award in the mean time.

He added that the next case management for the matter had been fixed for Feb 29.

Meanwhile, another lawyer, Jason Ng, who is also appearing for the petitioners, described that obtaining leave today to commence the review was akin to “a great gift for the upcoming Chinese New Year”.

The group of traders filed the review on Jan 8 this year and named the government, the Federal Territories Ministry, the director of Kuala Lumpur Federal Territories Department of Land and Mines, and its land administrator as the respondents.

In the nine-page notice of application, filed through Messrs Jason Ng and Partners, the applicants sought, among others, to declare any subsequent proceedings followed by the land acquisition for the MRT project as unconstitutional, unlawful, illegal, null and void.

They are also seeking other declarations, including a stay on land acquisition proceedings to stop the “historical building” from being demolished.

Ampang Park Shopping Centre was built in 1971 and completed two years later in 1973, becoming the first shopping centre in Malaysia.

There are 253 strata titles in the shopping centre.

Last year, it was reported that the government was trying to acquire the land on which the shopping centre is situated under the Land Acquisition Act 1960 for the construction of the MRT project.

The land was meant for constructing the underground Ampang Park Station as it would be integrated with the existing Ampang Park LRT Station.

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