Paramount duty to Selangor, not highway developers, MB told

Selangor Mentri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim is reminded by Selangor MPs that Selangor has an overriding obligation to protect the welfare of its residents even at the cost of the firm behind the RM2.42 billion KIDEX highway project. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa
Selangor Mentri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim is reminded by Selangor MPs that Selangor has an overriding obligation to protect the welfare of its residents even at the cost of the firm behind the RM2.42 billion KIDEX highway project. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

KUALA LUMPUR, May 1 — Three Selangor assemblymen today reminded Mentri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim of his responsibility to the state’s residents, after he said it would be unfair to the developer to cancel a proposed highway now opposed by citizen groups.

Saying the state has an overriding obligation to protect the welfare of its residents, Rajiv Rishyakaran, Yeo Bee Yin and Ng Sze Han — respectively the representatives for Bukit Gasing, Damansara Utama and Kinrara — said this must be the case even if it came at a cost to the bottom line of the firm behind the RM2.42 billion Kinrara-Damansara Expressway (KIDEX).

“We are troubled by the position taken by Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim as all decisions taken by the state must be in the best interest of the rakyat of Selangor.

“And in doing that, there will be occasions where corporate profit-driven interests are sacrificed,” the three said in a joint statement today.

The three pointed out that Selangor was not commercially involved in the project or concession agreement, and its involvement extended only to approving or rejecting the project.

Although the KIDEX is a federal project, the state government’s agreement is essential as the highway route is expected to run through familiar landmarks in Petaling Jaya.

“Thus the question of Selangor’s obligation to KIDEX does not arise at all. Instead, its obligation is first to its people, especially in the areas affected by the highway construction,” they added.

The representatives from Pakatan Rakyat parties that govern the state then repeated existing concerns over the proposed elevated highway, noting that evidence suggests that the project was set to proceed despite public resistance and the absence of detailed impact assessment.

Yesterday, Khalid suggested that mounting resistance to KIDEX was unlikely to deter his administration from giving the project the necessary nods, and that any concessions would be restricted to the alignment of the route.

While details of the elevated highway are scarce, all signs suggest that authorities are set on its construction despite the hurdles that it must still pass.

Works Minister Datuk Fadillah Yusof told The Malay Mail Online previously that a “conditional agreement” was already in place.

According to two parliamentary replies on the matter by the Works minister, a number of conditions came with the project, and the Selangor government agreed to the highway construction proposal two years ago.

On November 12 last year, Fadillah told Petaling Jaya Selatan MP Hee Loy Sian that Selangor state had agreed to plans to build the highway through a letter by the Selangor Economic Action Council (MTES) dated February 23, 2012.

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.

Construction of the multi-billion ringgit highway could begin as soon as next year and be completed by 2018. 

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