PETALING JAYA, May 2 ― Selangor Mentri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim must hear out residents opposed to the proposed Kinrara-Damansara Expressway (KIDEX) before deciding it would be unfair to block the project, a citizens group said today.
The “Say No To KIDEX” committee said it is only right for Khalid to listen to the concerns of the thousands of residents who will be affected by the 14.9km super-elevated highway, which will cut through heavily populated areas once completed.
“We invited him to come for our forum on May 9, and we hope he will come and listen to the people's views and then decide who to feel kesian (pity) for,” said committee secretary David Yoong after a forum on the controversial highway last night.
Yoong was referring to a public forum that the committee is planning to hold at the Section 4 Pondok Rukun Tetangga starting at 8pm next Friday.
On Wednesday, Khalid said it would not be fair to the project's developer, Kidex Sdn Bhd, if the state government were to veto the project.
His statement drew immediate flak from three state backbenchers ― Rajiv Rishyakaran, Yeo Bee Yin and Ng Sze Han ― who argued that the state's overriding obligation is to protect the welfare of its residents, even if it came at a cost of the project developer.
Yoong agreed with the three elected representatives, stressing that this was exactly why the committee sent out invitations to Khalid and his entire executive council to attend the May 9 forum to shed light on details related the project.
The semi-retired engineer argued that everyone, from homeowners to schools, would suffer negative effects due to the proximity of the proposed super-elevated highway, which he claimed would come as close as 5m to the periphery of some buildings along the highway alignment.
Yoong said if the state government insists on approving the federal project, the committee cannot discount the possibility taking their unhappiness to the streets.
He explained that the committee is now working on convincing homeowners along the entire stretch of the proposed highway alignment to put up banners in protest of KIDEX, aside from a major public gathering, to show the extent of public opposition to the project.
“A public protest is in the pipeline... we just want to hold it on a day when everyone can get together,” he said, adding that they have had an encouraging response from residents in the various areas where they have held forums on the highway.
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.