by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjung, Lim Kit Siang, in Penang on Sunday June 5, 1994:
Legal Action against MPPP and State Government for illegal closure of Lorong Reutens would be filed tomorrow
Legal action against the MPPP and the Penang State Government for illegal closure of Lorong Reutens would be initiated with the filing of court action tomorrow morning.
MPPP President, Datuk Tan Gim Hwa, should publicly apologise to the Midlands residents for the illegal closure of Lorong Reutens for the RM200-million Taman Midlands “One-Stop Centre’ project.
The developer of Tainan Midlands ‘One-Stop Centre’ project, Pangkal Permata (M) Sdn. Bhd., submitted its application for planning approval for the project on November 1, 1993. On 24th November, the MPPP Infrastructure and Works Committee endorsed the developer’s planning
application to close Lorong Reutens. The MPPP full Council approved the closing of Lorong Reutens at its meeting of 9th December 1993.
On February 28, the MPPP gave full planning approval for the Taman Midlands ‘One-Stop Centre’ Project.
Lorong Reutens had been illegally closed in the past three months creating grave inconvenience to the Taman Midlands residents.
Section 67(1) of the Local Government Act 1976 specifically provided that before a public street is closed by the local authority, at least one’s month notice must be given to the affected residents through a gazette notification of the proposed closure.
Furthermore, such a notice must be posted up in some portion of the road which is proposed to be closed.
The Local Government Act also provides for the State Government to hold an inquiry if the affected residents objected to the closure of the road by the local authority.
All these legal conditions before a public street could be closed had been violated by the MPPP and the Penang State Government.
There is also a provision in the Local Government Act for any owner or occupier at Midlands injuriously affected by the closure of Lorong Reutens to make a claim for compensation to the MPPP before the actual closure itself.
The closure of Lorong Reutens is therefore illegal and Taman Midlands residents who have been adversely affected by the illegal closure of Lorong Reutens in the past few months are entitled to claim compensation from MPPP.