Saturday, May 30

Council ordered to pay RM250,000 damages to six villagers


KOTA KINABALU: The High Court here yesterday ordered Kota Marudu district council to pay RM250,000 damages to six villagers over the dumping of rubbish and wastes at a site adjacent to their land.

High Court judge Datuk Abdul Rahman Sebli yesterday made the order after allowing an application for judicial review by Yusof Abdul Rashed, Masri Salleh, Maini Tapah, Dayang Buris, Chee Chin Lai and Yaw Lee Lee @ Nining Aham from Kampung Tambun, Kota Marudu against the council which was the sole respondent in the case.

The exemplary damages were for the applicants’ suffering over the past 20 years since the respondent started dumping the rubbish at the site in the said village.

In his judgement, Abdul Rahman also ordered the respondent to clear, collect, remove and transport all the refuse, rubbish, wastes, debris and other garbage accumulated by the respondent at the garbage dumping site.

He also ordered the respondent to clear and make the earth-drains to discharge outfall and remove and transport all the refuse, rubbish, wastes and debris accumulated in the earth-drains at the dumping site.

Apart from that, the court also prohibited the respondent from dumping, depositing, accumulating and or disposing of any rubbish, wastes and other garbage at the garbage dumping site.

In their grounds for the judicial review application, the applicants said that the decisions and acts of the respondent in dumping, accumulating and disposing of the rubbish and wastes at the site and using it as garbage dumping site were wrong in law and ultra vires the jurisdiction and authorised functions of the respondent.

These decisions and acts, they claimed, showed disregard for the legal and constitutional rights of the applicants as owners and residents of their land and continuous nuisance to the applicants and to other owners and residents at Kampung Tambun.

They also claimed that the said decisions and acts of the respondent and its refusal to perform its duty and function to regulate, control and dispose of rubbish and wastes and/or to abate nuisance despite repeated protests and demands was in breach of its duty and authorised functions.

In the circumstances, the applicants said, it was wrong in law, unreasonable and irrational other than in excess of the jurisdiction on the part of the respondent in having decided and acted wrongfully in dumping, depositing, accumulating and disposing rubbish, refuse, wastes and other garbage on the site.

Presently, they said, there are three primary schools, one health clinic, three kindergartens, two nurseries, a mosque, government’s offices and quarters and at least 85 residential houses located adjacent to and about 300 to 500 metres away from the dumping site.

The five applicants were represented by counsel Datuk Kong Hong Ming while counsel Mohd Faizal Izuddin Mohd Hanan from the State Attorney-General’s Chambers acted for the respondent.