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PN would bury PJD Link plan for good, says Azmin

The former Selangor menteri besar questions the need for a highway within the city.

Staff Writers
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Selangor Perikatan Nasional chairman Mohamed Azmin Ali speaks at a ceramah in Ukay Perdana, Selangor, Aug 5.
Selangor Perikatan Nasional chairman Mohamed Azmin Ali speaks at a ceramah in Ukay Perdana, Selangor, Aug 5.

A Perikatan Nasional (PN) state government would not entertain any request to revisit the axed Petaling Jaya Dispersal (PJD) Link project, even if the plan passes the numourous impact assessments, the coalition's Selangor chairman Mohamed Azmin Ali says.

The former menteri besar said it did not make sense to construct a highway within a city on the pretext of solving traffic congestion.

"My principle is, why do you need a highway in the city? If it's outside, as an outer ring road, that can be considered. 

"But in Petaling Jaya, in Shah Alam, you don't need another highway. What is needed is public transportation," he told the Keluar Sekejap podcast hosted by Khairy Jamaluddin and his former comrade in Umno, Shahril Hamdan.

The 34km PJD Link, which would cross through established neighbourhoods in Petaling Jaya and the surrounding townships, was seen as a rebrand of the controversial Kinrara-Damansara Expressway (Kidex).

Kidex was cancelled by Azmin in February 2015, five months after he was appointed as the Selangor menteri besar, following protest from residents.

On July 31, Selangor Menteri Besar Amirudin Shari announced that the PJD Link would be scrapped, citing the project's failure to pass the social impact assessment (SIA), in addition to the outcomes of the environmental impact assessment (EIA) and traffic impact assessment (TIA).

But he later said that the plan could be revisited if the people could be convinced, adding that there were unfulfilled conditions.

The statement drew fire from critics of the project, including residents and activists who had for years mounted a strong protest against the plan over concerns about the environmental and social impacts on the affected townships.

"The question now is why they want to revisit the construction of the PJD Link. 

"Amirudin is taking a flip-flop approach," Azmin said, adding that under PN, there would be no question of revisiting the plan.

"No need for TIA, no need for SIA, because in PJ, why do you need another highway?

"It would split the city and the communities." 

It is understood that that more than 3,000 homes would be affected by the project, which was included in the Selangor Structural Plan 2035.

Azmin said given the existing transportation infrastructure including the MRT and LRT, the problem at hand was the first- and last-mile connectivity to discourage the use of private vehicles. 

He said part of the solution would be to step up the operation of the Smart Selangor feeder buses, a free state-wide service introduced during his time as menteri besar.

He also said that turning to highways as a solution to traffic problems would never achieve the goal of a 60:40 ratio of public transportation to private vehicle use. 

"We will never achieve (the 60:40 ratio) if we keep building highways," he said. 

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