Monday, February 16, 2015

My view on "Selangor Menteri Besar Azmin Ali has put a stop to the Kinrara-Damansara Expressway (Kidex) project"

In upholding the principles of fairness, accountability and transparency, the state government has given ample notices to Kidex Sdn. Bhd. to fulfill the requirement set by the Selangor State Government​. 

Today, the state government has made an important announcement not to continue with the project. The major pressure group, Say No To KIDEX (SNTK) has been voicing out against the project, and to certain extends, in my opinion, went ahead against the PR-led State Government, even before the State Government announcing its decision of the project (owned by the Federal Government).

As I have always said, a responsible state government ought to listen to both sides before a decision is made. Many a time the state government was vehemently attacked, especially in social media by quarters with hidden political interest, for allowing Kidex Sdn. Bhd. to present their views.

Highways and expressways are very much needed in linking up cities previously served by trunk roads. That is why the people of Selangor and Pakatan Rakyat elected representatives did not object when the Federal Government commenced and finished the construction of Kuala Lumpur – Kuala Selangor Highway (Latar) from 2008 to 2011. 

When the government announced its plan to construct West Coast Expressway from Taiping to Banting, it does not face much objections from the people of Selangor as we believe that the highway will relieve traffic congestion along Klang – Sabak Bernam Federal Road 5 while boasting tourism and economy activities along the coastal areas of Selangor.

However, the same cannot be said on Kidex and many other highways that are cutting through the hearts of major cities in Klang Valley. Constructing more highways will only translate into growing ownership of private vehicles in the city centre and it defeats the noble purpose to improve usage of public transportation.

In contrast with the views of SNTK, I believe the more appropriate concern is how could the Federal Government keeps allowing such highway(s) to continue in years to come. Please note that the Federal Government gave Kidex Sdn Bhd a nine month extension not too long ago (from Feb 15, 2015 to Nov 14, 2015) to fulfill the condition precedents of the concession agreement. There must be merit in allowing these highways in Selangor.
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