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Sabindo Open Space Trial – Day 4 June 20, 2009

Posted by wong jimmy in Open Space.
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DAY 4                                  NOTES OF PROCEEDINGS                     15 JUNE 2009

3.15 pm

CHONG SUI JIN & 9 ORS

v

AGGASF SDN. BHD.

& JERAMAS SDN. BHD

v

MAJLIS PERBANDARAN TAWAU

 

Civil Suit No. T(21) 52 2005

Civil Suit No. T(21) 53 2005

 

Datuk: The parties are as before. May I call my 1st witness, Mr. Wong Su Vui.

 

Plaintiff calls 1st Witness – Mr. Wong Su Vui (PW7)

(Sworn – solemnly & sincerely declare the evidence given in this court is the whole truth, the truth and nothing but the truth in Mandarin)

 

Examination in chief

 

Datuk: What is your occupation?

 

Wong: Businessman

 

Datuk: Do you belong to any political party in Sabah?

 

Wong: Sabah Progressive Party Tawau branch.

 

Datuk: What is your position there in 2005?

 

Wong: Publicity officer

 

Datuk: Do you know about the JV projects to develop the Bandar Sabindo on open space?

 

Wong: I only knew it when I saw it on the advertisement on newspapers.

 

Datuk: Can you tell the court roughly when was that?

 

Wong: August 2005

 

Datuk: How did you find out about it?

 

Wong: There has been a construction/development of 54 unit shop lots 4 storey building – said on

            advertisement in a Chinese newpaper. “The last hottest piece of land (54 unit shop lots of 4

            storey building) in Bandar Sabindo for sale”

 

Datuk: Can you remember what else was said in the advertisement?

 

Wong: Construction will finish in 30 months.

 

Datuk: Can you tell the court what happened after the newspaper advertisement?

 

Wong: YB Shim Paw Fatt MP office received a lot of complaints on the development projects. Most of

            the complaintants are Tawau residents and shop lot owners. They complained and objected to the

            development of the commercial shop lot. Every Sunday, Sabah Progressive Party have a medical

            mobile service unit at Sin Onn Market – also received a lot of complaints.

 

Datuk: After receiving a lot of complaints, what did you do?

 

Wong: After receiving the complaints, we SPP (publicity section) had a meeting to discuss about the

            situation/complaints.

 

Datuk: What did you do after the meeting?

 

Wong: In the meeting we discussed the 3 most important points for the complaints, namely;

           1) Shortage of car parks in Sabindo.

           2) Within the 5 pieces of land, one was originally a play ground.

           3) As for the Dunlop Street area where the open space is at, if it were to be develop, it will in the

               future affect the expansion & widening of the street.

 

Datuk: Did your Party take any action following the complaints?

 

Wong: After we discussed about the problem, we took a reasonable approach by taking the names of the

            people and reasons/causes as to why they we objecting to it. We prepared a form for the

            complainants to sign.

 

Datuk: Attached to the form, is there any letter of petition?

 

Wong: This is the letter.

 

Datuk: Is that the letter that you prepared?

 

Wong: Yes.

 

Datuk: Can you tell the court what is this letter about?

 

Wong: Rayuan untuk tidak membangunkan bangunan di Bandar Sabindo … (as stated in the heading of

            the letter)

 

Datuk: In that letter, who are you appealing to?

 

Wong: The Chief Minister of Sabah.

 

Datuk: Were the grounds of appeal set in the letter?

 

Wong: There are 10 reasons stated in the letter.

 

Datuk: Can you tell the court where is the original copy of this letter and the forms which you have

            mentioned?

 

Wong: It has already been sent to the Chief Minister.

 

Datuk: With YA’s permission, I would like to tender this document as exhibit. Can it be P26?

 

Ronny: No objection.

 

Judge: Letter of Appeal to CM – P26.

 

Datuk: Much obliged.

 

Wong: Can you tell the court how many signatures people did your parties able to get – 6800 signatures.

 

Datuk: Is there any other signatures which you have collected?

 

Wong: In the first week, we received 6800 over. Then we had an extra 3,000 plus signatures. Adding

            together we have 10,000 over signatures.

 

Datuk: After receiving the forms with signatures, what did you do?

 

Wong: After we gathered the signatures and forms, we passed those forms to our Supreme Counsellor

            Mr. Kenneth Goh Phiang Kiong.

 

Datuk: Did you also pass P26 to Mr. Goh?

 

Wong: Yes.

 

Datuk: What happened after you’ve passed the documents to Mr. Goh?

 

Wong: Mr. Goh brought those signatures and forms to the HQ of KK for a meeting.

 

Datuk: What happened after the meeting?

 

Wong: We then passed those documents to Mr. Jimmy Wong Chee Kiong who is the Chief Minister’s

            Political Secretary.

 

Datuk: Mr. Wong, how do you know that the documents was passed to Mr. Jimmy Wong?

 

Wong: Mr. Jimmy has called to confirm the safe receipt of the forms and signatures.

 

Datuk: Do you mean Mr. Jimmy has called you to confirm the safe receipt of the documents?

 

Wong: Yes.

 

Datuk: Is there anything else that the political secretary, Mr. Jimmy Wong has told you?

Wong: Mr. Jimmy Wong said that his boss, the CM will take the necessary action.

 

Datuk: Did the CM make any press statement after receiving your letter and signatures?

 

Wong: I only saw from the newspaper that the CM had made a press release/statement.

 

Datuk: Please look at the newspaper cutting. Is that the newspaper report you’re referring to?

 

Wong: Yes.

 

Datuk: I’d like to tender this newspaper report as P27.

 

Ronny: Could my learned friend explain as to the relevancy of this exhibit? We have 2 pending judicial

            reviews – T(25)5 of 2005 and T(25)5 of 2006. Because this question of “stop work” has been

            litigated and is res judicata and cannot be raised again. So if my learned friend can rely to the

            relevancy of this document, much obliged.

 

Datuk: My question has nothing to do with Judicial Review. If YA can recall, during the previous

            proceedings, the 1st D alleged that there is no public objections to the project. 10 P’s do not

            constitute public objections.

 

Ronny: If he were establish that there is public objection then I wish to withdraw my objection.

 

Datuk: It is only to prove public objection. This letter goes to show that there is a protest by public

            residents. Just to prove public objection.

 

Judge: Stated in?

 

Datuk: The Borneo Post 13 October 2005.

 

Judge: P27.

 

Datuk: Earlier on you mentioned about – there were also complaints to YB Shim Paw Fatt – do you

            know what did he do following the complaints?

 

Wong: YB Shim Paw Fatt has written a few letters to the CM with the reasons to stop the development.

 

Datuk: May the witness be shown PBD Page 71? This shows the dialogue with the CM and the Chinese

            community of Tawau. Can you please look at the report?

 

Wong: Yes.

 

Datuk: Can you tell the court – were you present at the meeting with the CM?

Wong: Yes – it was held in Hotel Emas.

 

Datuk: Can you confirm the accuracy of this newspaper reporting?

Wong: Yes.

 

Datuk: I have no further questions.

 

Ronny: I have no cross examination.

 

Witness is released.

 

Plaintiff calls 8th Witness – Mr. Michael Lee Yun Piao (PW8)

(Sworn – solemnly & sincerely declare the evidence given in this court is the whole truth, the truth and nothing but the truth in English.)

 

Examination in chief

 

Datuk: Mr. Lee, can you tell the court what is your occupation?

Lee: I’m a reporter.

 

Datuk: Is there a reporter association?

 

Lee: Yes, Persatuan Pemberita Tawau.

 

Datuk: Do you hold any position in the Reporter’s Association?

 

Lee: Yes.

 

Datuk: Please tell the court about your position.

 

Lee: I am now the Vice President and before that the Secretary.

 

Datuk: What were you in 2005?

 

Lee: I was the Secretary, Your Ladyship.

 

Datuk: Have you anything to do with Majlis Perbandaran Tawau in 2005?

Lee: I was the Counsellor.

 

Datuk: Did you know about the 2 projects to develop open space and car park in Bandar Sabindo?

 

Lee: Yes, Your Ladyship.

 

Datuk: Did you know anything about the development plans for the 2 projects in the year 2005?

 

Lee: Yes, I came to know about it when it was brought up to the Full Board for approval.

 

Datuk: Were you present?

Lee: Yes.

 

Datuk: What did you do during the full board meeting?

Lee: I objected to the development proposal.

 

Datuk: Can you tell the court why you objected to the development projects?

 

Lee: It is my duty & responsibility to protect the interest of the Council and town people. And to my

        common knowledge, open space cannot be used by private sectors to develop buildings.

 

Datuk: Can the land be used for commercial buildings?

Lee: To my knowledge, I don’t think so.

 

Datuk: Is there any other reason why you object to the proposed development plans?

 

Lee: If you put up more building there, it will cause more traffic congestion and the parking lot there is

        insufficient. And besides, the piece of land in front of Empress theatre is used for parking space –

        providing around 100 lots.

 

Datuk: Is that the piece of land where the incomplete building is currently situated?

 

Lee: Yes.

 

Datuk: Is the Empress Theatre along the side of Man Cheong coffee shop and Persatuan Teo Chew

           Tawau?

 

Lee: The Empress Theatre is no longer a theatre but it used to be called Empress Theatre.

 

Datuk: Is there any other reason why you object?

 

Lee: A lot of our open spaces have been used for commercial buildings and we shouldn’t allow more of

        them to be used.

 

Datuk: Mr. Lee, do you go to Bandar Sabindo at all?

Lee: Yes.

 

Datuk: With the incomplete building currently on the land, do you experience any difficulty in parking

            your car?

Lee: Definitely.

 

Datuk: Would you say that it is more difficult to get a parking space?

 

Lee: Yes.

 

Datuk: Is there any other reasons why you object to the proposed development?

 

Lee: I think that’s all.

 

Datuk: Mr. Lee, do you also know that there is a nearby 6.9 acres of public places in Bandar Sabindo

            that is suppose to be up for commercial development?

 

Lee: I heard about it.
Datuk: Do you know if there were also public objections to that?

Lee: Yes.

 

Datuk: Do you know whether the project did in fact take off or not?

Lee: As I know, it was stopped.

 

Datuk: Mr. Lee, you said you were a counsellor in 2005, when did your term end?

 

Lee: December 2005.

 

Datuk: Were you re-appointed?

 

Lee: No more.

 

Datuk: May the witness be shown Page 6(P9) of PBD3? Page 19-20 and 62-67(P11) of PBD2? Can I ask

            you to look at these documents one at a time? My question is whether you have personal

            knowledge of this documents?

 

Lee: Yes.

 

Datuk: Are you agreeable to the contents of these documents?

 

Lee: Yes.

 

Datuk: Whether that is the stand of his association (Persatuan Pemberita Tawau)?

 

Lee: The decision was made in our association meeting that this is our stand.

 

Datuk: Does your association still stand by that decision?

Lee: Yes.

 

Datuk: I have no more further questions.

 

 

Cross Examination

 

Ronny: Are you a plaintiff in this case?

 

Lee: No.

 

Ronny: Is your association a plaintiff in this case?

Lee: No.

 

Ronny: No further questions.

 

Re-examination

 

Datuk: I would like you to confirm to this court that the evidence you gave to court today is the whole

            truth, the truth and nothing but the truth?

 

Lee: Yes, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

 

Judge: Did it create a confusion? If not, leave it for submission.

 

Datuk: Much obliged.

 

Witness is released.

 

Adjourned to 4.45pm

 

Datuk: I call the next witness, Mdm. Chong Sui Jin, the 1st Plaintiff.

 

Plaintiff calls 9th Witness – Mdm. Chong Sui Jin (PW9)

(Sworn – solemnly & sincerely declare the evidence given in this court is the whole truth, the truth and nothing but the truth in Mandarin)

 

Examination in chief

 

Datuk: Mdm. Chong, you have prepared a witness statement, can you confirm that is your signature?

 

Chong: Yes.

 

Datuk: Can you also confirm that the statement that you make is correct?

 

Chong: Yes.

 

Datuk: May I have the statement be exhibited?

 

Ronny: As the witness affirmed in Mandarin, I need my learned friend to confirms that she understands

             English. Much obliged.

 

Datuk: Mdm. Chong, this statement is written in English. Can you understand it?

 

Judge: Should get court translator to translate it to Mandarin before coming to court.

 

Ronny: I think we need a jurat to confirm as to whether she understands English.

 

 *Judicial Intervention about the witness understanding the contents of the witness statement written in English*

 

Chong: I understand English and I confirm the contents of the witness statement.

 

Ronny: In that case, I have no objection.

 

Judge: Madam Chong Sui Jin is marked as PW9 as witness.

 

Examination in chief

 

Datuk: Can you explain to the court why you objected to the development project in Bandar Sabindo?

 

Chong: We insisted to object because of the public interest because Sabindo has only these few open

             spaces and car parks. I myself objected because when I bought the shop lot, in front of the shop     

             lot is the open space and car park. If the project were to develop, it would create traffic jam and

             also my business will be aversely affected. So the back of the proposed commercial shop lot will

             be facing the front of my shop.

 

Datuk: What about the traffic?

 

Chong: So if there is no car park, we would always find car park all the time as there is no more spare.

 

Datuk: Are you already facing this difficulty now?

 

Chong: The car park is full during working hours. If I come to the shop late, I would have trouble

             looking for car parks – have to go a few rounds looking for car park.

 

Datuk: Is there any other reason why you objected to the development?

 

Chong: We will insist to object until the development will come to a complete halt.

 

Judge: Is there any other reason why?

 

Chong: It is also for my convenience to find car park and there will be open space for recreation

            purposes.

 

Datuk: Do you also know that there is a 6.9 acres of open public places?

Ronny: My Lady, the 6.9 acres of open space has never been pleaded in the Statement of Claim, so it

            shouldn’t be brought up in this case. It is not part of the pleading.

 

Datuk: I leave to YA direction. There is also public objection to the other area but it was stopped.

 

Judge: Objection overruled.

 

Datuk: Question repeated.

 

Chong: Yes.

 

Datuk: Do you know if there are public objections to that case?

 

Chong: Yes.

 

Datuk: Do you know whether the project has stopped?

 

Chong: Up to now, I’ve not seen any activities after that.

 

Datuk: Is there anything else you would like to tell the court today?

 

Chong: I hope that the 5 pieces of land will be returned to the people’s of Tawau and that the

             development will stop.

 

Datuk: Would it be fair to say you are very familiar with Bandar Sabindo?

Chong: I have been doing business there for 20 years.

 

Datuk: Will you agree with me, that incase of fire or accident, it would be very difficult for the people to

            get out the area?

 

Ronny: Will my learned fire refrain from leading?

 

Datuk: What will happen in the case of fire or accidents if the developments were to develop?

 

Chong: If it would be jammed, we wouldn’t get out for life – difficult to escape.

 

Ronny: We should ask the Bomba for fire safety regulations and safety, not the plaintiff.

 

*Judicial Intervention about the safety issue*

 

Datuk: I have no more further questions.

 

Ronny: I have no cross examination for this witness.

 

Witness is released.

 

Adjourned till 9.00 am tomorrow.

 

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