Better public transport options preferred over proposed highway in PJ

THEY may be on different sides of the political divide but that did not stop politicians from two parties from coming together to object to the proposed Petaling Jaya Dispersal (PJD) Link.

At a press conference, PKR’s Petaling Jaya MP Maria Chin Abdullah and Selayang MP William Leong as well as Damansara MCA division chief Tan Gim Tuan stated their stand against the proposed highway.

The leaders said they supported 11 resident groups in Petaling Jaya who were opposed to the PJD Link.

Maria said the developers of the highway had yet to reveal the traffic impact assessment, environmental assessment and social impact assessment.

She wants residents’ views to be presented at the Selangor Economic Action Council and hopes to arrange for a meeting with Selangor Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Amirudin Shari.

Maria said the focus should be on improving public transport system such as bus, LRT and MRT instead of building another highway, which she said would displace communities and residents.

“Those from areas such as Taman Medan badly need more bus routes and services.

“They want to be able to get to places in an affordable manner, which will help them land jobs and visit hospitals and markets, ” she said.

Meanwhile, Leong said although he was Selayang MP, he had been living in Petaling Jaya since 1973 and his house was on the proposed route for the highway.

He said the measurement of a city’s growth should not be based on the number of highways it had but the community’s well-being.

“As for compensation to owners of properties that would be acquired for the project, no amount of money can compensate having to move elsewhere, ” he said.

Meanwhile, Tan, who grew up in Petaling Jaya, echoed residents’ objections to the highway.

Tan said the Selangor government should uphold its election manifesto to gradually abolish tolled roads.

“The highway does not benefit Damansara and Petaling Jaya residents.

“Building more highways will not solve the traffic problem in this area.

“Only proper town planning will help resolve the traffic situation.

“This problem has been made worse over the past 10 years as the state and local government have been giving approvals without due consideration to the people and the environment, ” he said.

The coalition against PJD Link Highway leader Sheikh Moqhtar Kadir said the group has gathered support from 11 residents groups.

The neighbourhoods were Section 4, Section 51A, Section 11, Section 12, Section 14, Section 17, Section 19, SS20, SS21, Section 22, and Ehsan Ria Condominium in Section 11 Petaling Jaya.

The group wants to meet the Selangor MB to convey their concerns.

“This is a revival of the cancelled Kinrara–Damansara Expressway (Kidex), ” said Sheikh.

The RM2.4bil Kidex project was scrapped six years ago by former Selangor Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali because of technical reasons.

The PJD Link follows a similar route as Kidex, which residents say will result in further congestion in the area.

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