Residents opposing the controversial Kinrara-Damansara Expressway (Kidex) have accused Azmin Ali of using the highway project as political fodder to topple predecessor Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim, pointing out that the Selangor mentri besar's latest remarks were a departure from his previous stand.
Last Friday, MB Azmin was quoted by The Sun Daily as saying that his administration will not oppose Kidex's construction, and stipulated that the developer must comply with Petaling Jaya Local Plans guidelines to ensure the development benefits Selangor residents.
According to Say No to Kidex (SNTK) committee member Mak Khuin Weng, this contradicted what Azmin and other Pakatan Rakyat (PR) leaders had promised just a few months ago when Khalid was MB.
“Did PR (Pakatan Rakyat) use us to oust Khalid Ibrahim? Yes. Do they intend to honour what they promised the rakyat? Seems doubtful at this point,” he told Malay Mail Online when contacted.
During the height of PR's attempts to remove Khalid from office, Mak pointed out several lawmakers had said they would oppose Kidex because it was against the coalition pact's Election 2013 manifesto as well as it being an alleged “Umno crony project.”
“Azmin Ali and Tony Pua seems to have conveniently forgotten what their colleagues promised the people and are stating the exact same thing Khalid Ibrahim said prior to his ouster,” Mak added, saying that attempts by the anti-Kidex lobby to meet Azmin remain unsuccessful despite the urgency of the matter.
With just one week left before the Kidex highway's concession ends, SNTK is now attempting to meet Works Minister Datuk Fadillah Yusof to convince him to call off the RM2.42 billion project and not renew Kidex Sdn Bhd's concession agreement, he said.
Mak explained that the anti-Kidex lobby has compiled an analysis on Kidex based on the Traffic and Environmental impact assessments reports from Kidex Sdn Bhd, and would be delivering a copy of this report to the minister at 11am today.
“When we send this report, we will make a request to meet the works minister, to convince him of the many reasons why he should let the concession lapse.
“The concession is due to expire on November 15, and they (Kidex Sdn Bhd) have yet to hold a proper town hall meeting to gauge feedback from affected residents,” Mak said.
In April, Azmin told Malay Mail Online that ex-MB Khalid's consent a tolled highway like Kidex expressly contravened PR’s 2013 general election pledge to abolish such a system.
“A comprehensive study should have been done before any form of agreement, whether conditional or not was agreed upon,” he had said back then.
The Gombak MP also questioned the choice of a super-elevated highway as a solution for traffic woes, and had asked Khalid to disclose the other alternatives his administration had weighed before deciding on the Kidex project.
“What about improving public transportation, feeder service? Is it necessary to build an additional highway? How do we know this is the best solution?” Azmin had said before he became MB.
Earlier this year, Works Minister Fadillah said that approval to begin Kidex's construction will only be given once Putrajaya is satisfied that all conditions have been fulfilled by its highway developer.
In a statement then, the minister stated that the company has 12 months from the signing of the concession agreement on November 15, 2013, to fulfill certain stipulated conditions.
When Malay Mail Online contacted the developer to ask if has been granted an extension, a spokesman declined comment and directed the question to the “relevant authorities.”
The Kidex project has been rejected on three occasions by the city council as the developer failed to provide sufficient details.
Under Section 18 of the Town Country and Planning Act (TCPA), construction cannot start unless a highway fits with the MBPJ’s local plans.
Kidex 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.