KUALA LUMPUR, 5 June: Several tenants at the Ampang Park shopping centre here have said that they face an uncertain future after losing a legal challenge over the acquisition of land for construction of the Klang Valley Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) Ampang Park station project.
A tenant who only wanted to be known as Lim said he was waiting for further directives from the owner of the convenience store, which he runs, on their next move.
“I can’t speak much because we’re still uncertain about our future. Whether we are going to get compensation or not, it’s yet to be decided,” he said.
Reminiscing about the good old days, he said the mall used to be well-frequented by shoppers due to its strategic location in bustling Jalan Ampang.
“But when rumours swirled that the mall would be demolished, customers were of the opinion that we would go out of business. Now, I don’t make much anymore,” he said, noting that sales had dropped significantly over the years.
“Now, I have to close my shop in the next two months, where do I go?” said the 60-year-old.
Another tenant, Ida, who runs a shop selling beauty products, said she would carry with her many fond memories of the mall.
“I’ve been working here for the past 16 years, and to pack up and leave is the hardest thing to do. I have even generated most of my loyal customers here. Where do they go should they want to buy our products?” she said”.
Ida noted that finding a new place with the same rental range was going to be tough.
Elaborating, Ida said that during the phase when they were fighting to save Ampang Park, many of her customers had even signed the petition to keep the place.
“Many took part in our petition to keep this place from being demolished. Now, the battle is over, we lost,” she said.
Checks by Bernama showed that many shops were vacant while the ones remaining were left struggling to survive, many displaying the “Save Ampang Park” stickers.
On Jan 8 last year, 39 business owners and tenants of Ampang Park filed a legal action to overturn the approval for the mall’s demolition to make way for an underground walkway connecting the new MRT station to the Ampang Park Light Rail Transit (LRT) station.
On June 30 last year, their application was dismissed by the High Court, which ruled that the acquisition of the land was proper and had been done in accordance with the law, including the Land Acquisition Act 1960.
The strata owners and tenants of the shopping centre lost their appeal at the Court of Appeal on Jan 18 this year, prompting them to file for leave to appeal to the Federal Court.
A three-man Federal Court panel led by Chief Justice Tan Sri Md Raus Sharif on Thursday dismissed the application of the strata owners and tenants to obtain leave to appeal against the dismissal of their judicial review by the High Court and Court of Appeal.
Following the verdict, there is no further legal avenue for them to challenge the acquisition of the land.
— THE SUN