Saturday, September 25, 2021

PKR MP slams Selangor govt for breaking GE14 promise after U-turn over highway project

William Leong says the conditional approval given by the government defeats the purpose of PH's election promises.

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A PKR MP has criticised the Selangor government for its decision to allow the construction of the Petaling Jaya Dispersal Link (PJD Link), a four-lane expressway that will pass through several key neighbourhoods and is largely seen as a rebrand of a highway project scrapped due to public protest six years ago.

Selayang MP William Leong warned that the Pakatan Harapan (PH) state government must review the decision or risk being punished at the next election.

He referred to the recent revelation in the Selangor state assembly that the PH government had agreed in principle to the PJD Link with several conditions, saying it amounted to a breach of the coalition’s 2018 general election manifesto.

“This conditional approval defeats the very purpose of the election promise. By voting in a PH government, this was to be a reassurance that the Selangor people would be spared the anxieties, efforts and expenditure required in raising objections to highways such as what they had to go through in Kidex,” said Leong, referring to the Kinrara-Damansara Expressway axed by then-menteri besar Mohamed Azmin Ali.

“Now they are called upon to undertake a similar exercise for the PJD Link,” he added.

In recent months, residents in areas affected by the project have voiced concern over the silence of their elected representatives despite protest by the people.

The PJD Link will commence after the NKVE toll plaza on the Sprint Highway, ending at the Bukit Jalil Highway Interchange, linking Petaling Jaya North, Bandar Utama, Taman Tun Dr Ismail, the PJ city centre, Taman Dato Harun, Taman Medan Baru, Taman Sri Manja, Bandar Kinrara and Bukit Jalil Technology Park.

Critics say the routes are almost identical to those of the Kidex project cancelled by Azmin in February 2015, some five months after he replaced Abdul Khalid Ibrahim as menteri besar.

Leong described the condition that the concessionaire engage with residents as a “public relations exercise”.

“Based on previous experience, the residents’ objections are not taken into serious consideration. The condition is deemed fulfilled in holding the meeting regardless of the objections raised in the meeting,” he added.

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