KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 18 — Selangor Mentri Besar Azmin Ali defended today his administration’s inclusion of six highway projects in the state’s 2035 structural plan, saying the report was merely aimed at procuring public feedback before a proper draft is made.
He stressed that the released document is a “survey report”, and by no means indicated any endorsement of the six listed highway projects- the Kinrara-Damansara Expressway (Kidex), the Damansara-Shah Alam expressway (Dash), the Serdang-Kinrara-Putrajaya expressway (Skip), the Sungai Besi-Ulu Kelang expressway (Suke), the Eastern Klang Valley expressway (Ekve) and the Pantai Barat expressway.
“To this end, the state government encourages the public and interested parties to submit their views on the survey report on Selangor’s 2035 structural plan so that the state can obtain thorough input before amending clauses at the draft level of the Selangor 2035 structural plan in the future,” Azmin said in a statement here.
The Bukit Antarabangsa assemblymen assured that public feedback would be a core factor in the state government’s drafting of the structural plan, and that his administration was always “open and committed” to include residents in the state’s future town planning.
“It must be stressed that these (highway) proposals are suggestions from the Malaysian Highway Authority (LLM) and are still subject to the views of interested parties and the agreement of the state government,” Azmin explained.
Residents opposing the RM2.42 billion Kidex have demanded MB Azmin explain why the controversial highway plan is still part of the state government’s 2035 structural plan since the Selangor mentri besar had listed pre-conditions before the project can proceed — clauses which the developer has yet to fulfil.
The Selangor government recently issued an advertisement notice in several newspapers that the survey report for the Selangor 2035 state structure plan (“Laporan Tinjauan Kajian Struktur Negeri Selangor 2035”) was ready for public viewing.
SNTK’s main contention was that the timeline of the report stated that it was approved by the Selangor economic action council back in October — after Azmin had already taken over predecessor Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim as Selangor MB.
MB Azmin said he has laid out three terms that Kidex Sdn Bhd and the LLM must follow, adding that the new conditions must be met before the extended concession agreement expires on February 15 next year.
The three conditions are a full public disclosure of Kidex Sdn Bhd’s concession agreement and the proposed toll rates and returns of the highway that also shares the company’s name, and proof through a thorough traffic impact assessment that it would be beneficial to users and residents in Petaling Jaya.
Back in May, former state mentri besar Khalid announced that Kidex is an integral part of Selangor’s new structural plan for 2035.
His reaffirmation back then that the highway, in addition to improving public transportation was necessary for the state’s future growth, raised alarm bells among residents opposing the project- fearing that the 14.9km highway plan would be carried out without consent from Selangorians.
The Kidex project has been rejected on three occasions by the Petaling Jaya city council as the developer failed to provide sufficient details.
Under Section 18 of the Town Country and Planning Act, construction cannot start unless a highway fits with the MBPJ’s local plans.
The Kidex highway is currently not incorporated into the council’s blueprint for Petaling Jaya.
Among the areas that could be affected by the project are Tropicana Mall, SS2 Mall, Rothman’s traffic lights, Section 14, Amcorp Mall, Hilton Petaling Jaya, Tun Hussein Onn Eye Hospital, Jalan Templer roundabout, Taman Datuk Harun, Taman Medan Baru and Bandar Kinrara.