PRESS RELEASE BY THE ATKINSON CLOCK TOWER CASE LAWYER
Kota Kinabalu, (12 July 2011) Wednesday: High Court judge Datuk David Wong granted leave to housewife, Lim Swee Geck and social activist Jefferi Chang in Judicial Review proceeding heard this morning in open court.
The Applicants had applied an Order of Mandamus for DBKK and Central Board to provide all minutes of all meetings of DBKK and Central Board in respect of the development surrounding the Atkinson Clock Tower.
The High Court granted leave to the Applicants. On 7th and 8th july 2011 the DBKK had written to the Applicant, Jefferi to reject his application for the DBKK minutes pertaining to the project.
The DBKK in their letter cited that the minutes were classified as “SULIT” under the Official Secrets Act 1972. The letter was produced to the court by the applicants' counsel; Marcel Jude Joseph during the open court hearing at 10 morning today.
However, the high court judge disagreed and granted leave to the Applicants. The minutes are crucial to discover whether DBKK had complied with all the requirements of Town and Country Planning laws and local government laws.
The State Attorney General Datuk Roderic Fernandez appeared for the DBKK and Central Board and Counsel Steve Ritikos represented the Federal Attorney General Chambers while Marcel Jude appeared for the applicants.
The application was argued vigorously by both sides before Datuk David Wong gave his ruling. This is probably the first time ordinary citizens such as the applicants have successfully challenged the decisions of the state government calling for transparency and protection of the environment.