From Sheikh Moqhtar Kadir
I’ve been a long-time resident of Section 14 and a rate payer and am very aware of the happenings in Petaling Jaya especially since the time of the controversial Kinrara-Damansara Expressway (Kidex) elevated highway and its subsequent cancellation in 2015.
Recently, Selangor menteri besar Amiruddin Shari asserted that it was “unfair to equate Petaling Jaya Dispersal Link (PJD Link) highway to the previously scrapped Kinrara-Damansara Expressway (Kidex)”. It is not only a shocker but the claim in itself is totally unfair to the residents of Section 14 and the rest of Petaling Jaya.
It was the MTES’ decision to grant the developer permission to engage with the residents that made the Residents Action Committee swing into action. We had asked for a meeting with the MB since Oct 21, but to date no meeting was granted.
The residents in Section 14 have been objecting to the PJD Link elevated highway since 2016. We had even engaged with the previous MB’s office, and through our Bukit Gasing state elected representative, Rajiv Rishyakaran, assurances were made that so long as the Pakatan Harapan government was in control of Selangor, the PJD Link highway will not be developed.
The latest affirmation was at the 14th general election pre-election rally in Section 14/26 field. To date this alignment was also not incorporated into Petaling Jaya’s local plan.
Our earlier checks with the then works minister, Fadillah Yusof, in 2017 confirmed that the route for PJD Link and Kidex was almost similar but with minor variations. He confirmed that the same group was behind the development of both highways. There were two highway applications running parallel at the federal level despite the cancellation of Kidex by the Selangor MB in 2015.
At our request, the previous MP for Petaling Jaya Selatan, Hee Loy Sian, submitted a parliamentary motion to delete Kidex in 2017.
Hee is now in the state exco and a member of MTES. The MB only had to cross-check with Hee to confirm the similarity of the route for PJD Link and Kidex. The length of the highway is 34.3km, including an additional 21.8km of on/off ramps under the PJD Link.
The previous menteri besar, Azmin Ali, would surely have weighed the state’s intention, development goals and residents’ objections before reaching a conclusive decision to reject Kidex in 2015. The developer had failed to comply with preconditions set by the state among which was the mandatory submission of traffic, social and environment impact assessment.
The briefings done by the developer in late 2020 was also without the traffic, social and environmental impact assessment reports. Engagements with the residents by the developer or some elected representatives did not even comply with the standards set by the previous MB in 2015. Why was the developer allowed to engage with residents in the first place in the absence of these reports?
In announcing the cancellation, the former menteri besar had given his commitment that all aspects and matters connected to Kidex will be removed from the Selangor State Structure Plan 2035.
We have not seen proof that the Kidex alignment was removed from the state structure plan 2035. Is the PJD Link route now borrowing the alignment of the defunct Kidex?
In less than six years since the cancellation of Kidex, it now appears that the developers interest overrides residents’ objection and is now part of the state’s development goals. Is the MB now saying that the standard applied by the previous MB was different? If so, we are now left wondering about the reasons for the cancellation of Kidex in 2015.
The Vibes.com reported on Jan 16 that the construction of PJD Link is expected to start at year end following approvals and an environmental impact assessment.
The people of Petaling Jaya had voted for a competent, accountable and transparent government in GE14. And in the spirit of CAT, it is our sincere wish for the definitive cancellation of the PJD Link.
We hope that the MB opens his doors to meet up with the residents’ representatives to ensure all fairness is accorded.
Sheikh Moqhtar Kadir is president of the Concerned Residents Section 14, PJ Action Committee
The views expressed are those of the writer and do not necessarily reflect those of FMT.