Selangor should not agree to a controversial highway from Kinrara to Damansara until a traffic impact study justifies the toll expressway, say four assemblymen from the ruling Pakatan Rakyat (PR) state government.
The proposed RM2.4 billion Kinrara-Damansara Expressway (Kidex) has received the support of Menteri Besar Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim, much to the chagrin of his allies who say such projects only benefit Barisan Nasional cronies.
“The Selangor state government should not commit to the Kinrara-Damansara Expressway as we have yet to receive any Traffic Impact study that justifies such a massive skyway, forever altering the landscape of Petaling Jaya,” said the four DAP assemblymen.
The four are Rajiv Rishyakaran (Bukit Gasing), Yeo Bee Yin (Damansara Utama), Lau Weng San (Kampung Tunku) and Ng Sze Han (Kinrara), whose constituencies will be affected by the 14.9km elevated expressway, which is part of a federal government traffic dispersal plan for the Klang Valley.
They said they welcomed Khalid’s view for further engagement to listen to public opinion, and for government officials to adopt and adapt.
“However, these engagements must leave room for all possibilities, including the possibility of scrapping the highway if technical studies show that it is not beneficial to the residents of Petaling Jaya and other affected areas,” they added.
PR won the Selangor state government in 2008 and 2013 on the back of promises to consult the people and ensure only people-friendly projects in the country’s wealthiest and most-industrialised state.
In 2013, the coalition won 44 of the 56 seats in the state assembly, with PKR 14 while allies DAP and PAS have 15 each. But a year on, Khalid has been under attack for questionable decisions over water supply, land and highway projects.
PKR de facto leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim was to replace Khalid as menteri besar, but his plan to contest for the Kajang state seat was foiled by a court conviction, leaving his wife, party president Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, to contest and win the seat. However, there is no confirmation she would get the post.
Despite the uncertainty, Khalid has sealed deals that appear contrary to his coalition’s agenda, including the Kidex concession which was given to a company owned by an Umno lawyer and the wife of former Chief Justice Tun Zaki Azmi.
Kidex officials have agreed to brief affected residents of the proposed project, but a meeting ended in uproar last week as residents insisted that the meeting should not be regarded an official engagement under local
The DAP assemblymen previously said that the project plans had yet to be filed to the local council or state authorities, and remained just proposals.
“We repeat the call for Kidex Sdn Bhd, the Malaysian Highway Authority and the Ministry of Works to come clean with the Traffic Impact Assessment and all other professional reports that justify the purported 20-30% decrease of traffic to Petaling Jaya and Puchong local roads with the construction of Kidex,” they said.
The four also said that besides traffic related studies, studies on the impact of the skyway on the existing property along the alignment must also be revealed.
“There are plenty of residents affected, and they deserve to understand the impact properly.
“Only with these reports being made public can there be proper and mature decision and ultimately decision. Until then, Selangor should not commit to Kidex,” the four said.
Yesterday, Khalid said it was impossible to cancel the construction of the highway as not only was it a federal government project, but also part of the state’s infrastructure development master plan.
“In this matter, even if we disagree, the traffic problems in the state will not be solved. And this being the case, we have to adapt and adopt with the expressway,” he said after launching the Selangor Structural Plan in Subang Jaya yesterday.
Residents in Petaling Jaya are objecting to the expressway as 3,784 lots would be are affected by a land-sale freeze. The developer has said that only 380 lots will be acquired.
The expressway will tower over houses, schools and some of the busiest highways in the Klang Valley, with a route that stretches from Kinrara, Puchong, in the south to Bandar Utama, Petaling Jaya, in the north. – May 21, 2014.