BASIC adherence to the legal requirements such as proper traffic and environment impact studies, were not met nor submitted hence on this basis the Federal Government must not approve the application for the Petaling Jaya Dispersal Elevated Highway (PJD Link) highway, says Maria Chin Abdullah.
In a press statement, the Petaling Jaya MP said the Selangor state government had confirmed that there had been no approval made and no proper submission of any application for the PJD Link to be built.
She further stated that the government should apologise for the announcement and begin the process of planning alternative and sustainable public transportation systems for Malaysia.
"The objections raised by the residents are valid as Malaysia has committed to the United Nation's Sustainable Development Goals. The 11th goal is to have Sustainable Cities and Communities,” said Maria.
She added that the focus should be by 2030 to improve and provide access to safe, affordable, accessible and sustainable transport systems for all.
This should also comprise improving road safety by expanding public transport, with special attention to the needs of those in vulnerable situations, women, children, persons with disabilities and older persons.
"Elevated highways don’t solve traffic congestion but are intolerable with commuters paying tolls and still getting jammed up during peak hours.
"Not only that, Petaling Jaya needs alternative public transportation systems such as buses, trains and bicycle walkways to allow for access and mobility.
"It is understandable that the residents become very upset when the relevant minister and the deputy keep on announcing that approval had been made by the government and Cabinet on PJD Link as well as the other two highways," she said.
Maria Chin added that the PJD Link was a concern to the residents in Petaling Jaya as it cut through developed housing areas, which would lead them to have to endure more traffic, pollution, and noise.
According to the elevated highway’s preliminary plans, it also encroaches on the compounds of the already dense neighbourhoods.
"The residents of Petaling Jaya, who have lived there for close to 70 years, are also concerned that this highway will eventually result in other long-term issues for them.
"There are definitely alternatives to elevated highways. In Boston, US, the authorities demolished its elevated highway and built an underground tunnel to carry the traffic. It is also filled with business complexes leading to job opportunities," she said.
Maria Chin said there was a need for out-of-the-box ideas that need to be developed for a manageable, sustainable and accessible transportation system that will not leave scars for our future generation to bear.
"The government should apologise for the empty announcement and begin the process of planning alternative and sustainable public transportation systems for Malaysia," she said.
Last Saturday (June 2) a group of Petaling Jaya held a peaceful protest to express their objection to the highway.
The protest was led by almost 20 residents' groups, retired engineers and stakeholders.
The Stakeholders cum Residents Against PJD Link (SCRAP Highway) chairman David Yoong said the highway did not meet the Petaling Jaya City Council’s (MBPJ) low carbon city plan 2030.
He said it also did not meet the Local Agenda 21 plan which requires public participation and their input as well as climate change-related goals and the Town and Country Planning Act 172, which requires sustainable development plans.