Tempers flared amid growing concerns of deforestation in Selangor to build the many proposed highways.
As residents protested the proposed Damansara-Shah Alam Highway (DASH), Shah Alam-Ulu Kelang Expressway (SUKE) and East Klang Valley Expressway (EKVE) for various reasons, they stood in solidarity against the felling of trees in forest reserves to make way for development of highways.
Save Green Lungs representative Jessy Phuah protested against the degazettement of Bukit Sungai Putih Utara and Selatan Forest Reserves for the development of SUKE.
“We demand that Selangor Government put an emphasis on protecting our forest reserves and stop issuing notices to degazette our forest reserves,” she said.
The group collected an estimated 15,000 signatures in objection to the degazettement of forest reserves.
The petition was handed over to Pandan MP Rafizi Ramli.
Rafizi reaffirmed his stance on highway concessions and said the highway concession model was no longer an economically viable option.
“It is time to eliminate the concession model in this country and find more palatable transport models,” he said, citing the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system as an option.
He said he would bring the discussion on highway concessions to Parliament.
Say No To Kidex (Kinrara-Damansara Elevated Expressway) group member Mak Khuin Weng said the Selangor government had not replied to any of the group’s letters objecting to the highways.
“We never got a black-and-white about the cancellation of Kidex,” he added.
Say No To SUKE spokesman Agos Hassan-Ashari also highlighted several concerns of residents and businesses in the areas affected by SUKE.
Say No To DASH spokesman Alvin Chin said the group was not against the highway project but was asking for realignment as the proposed route cut through a densely populated Damansara Perdana.
“The DASH project has been approved to start work in August according to Bukit Lanjan assemblyman Elizabeth Wong, despite our objections against it.
“We highlighted to the Mentri Besar that there are flaws; they have breached local laws and regulations, and the Town and Country Planning Act,” he said.