A Call to Pakatan Rakyat — ‘NO KIDEX’ is about democracy and trust!


Of late, several statements have been made in the Press by quite a few PR politicians regarding the proposed construction of Kidex highway, an elevated tolled skyway cutting through Petaling Jaya and Bandar Kinrara.

One particular declaration stands out among these:

Gobind Singh Deo, Member of Parliament for Puchong, urging the Selangor Menteri Besar to stop the construction of Kidex, is reported to have said: “Promises made to the people during elections form the basis upon which governments are given their mandate to govern. These promises, reduced into election manifestos such as the Pakatan Rakyat Manifesto 2013, must be respected and fulfilled.”

It was also reported that Gobind Singh went on to take the Selangor Menteri Besar to task for not listening to the residents over the Kidex highway project.

Hee Loy Sian, Member of Parliament for PJ South, was also sighted in his Facebook posting to have said: “Saya tegas, tiada Kidex & tiada kutipan toll dibenarkan di kawasan PJ Selatan”. (I stress, no Kidex & no toll collection allowed in PJ South area.)

It would be fitting if Hee reaffirms his resistance against the tolled skyway by having his views published in tabloids and digital media.

The widely reported reasons for Petaling Jaya residents objecting to the construction of the tolled Kidex skyway are much more multifarious than the myopic “not in my backyard” syndrome, as the Selangor Menteri Besar is obviously mistaken.

His continued resistance to listen to the people, who handed to him a Memorandum in March, followed by non-response to two more invites delivered to his office in April by the people’s representatives to meet and dialogue, are not helping.

The Kidex issue is no longer just skyway-specific. It is about democracy, or rather the deprivation of democratic rights of the people to be consulted openly, and to speak up.

It is also about non-compliance and trespass of due processes as promoted and maintained by some quarters, at times blatantly, as seen in attempts to change the State Structure Plan to implement the Kidex skyway.

These processes are stipulated under clearly defined rules and Acts, the underlying sanctity of which (as applied to the State Structure Plans and Local Draft Plans) is to enhance planning control, and respect the rights of the individual in the application of planning and development principles.

“When rules are ignored and if the people turn a blind eye, half the time, these rules will be quietly re-written so that they no longer apply”.

Retrospectively, the act of the Selangor government in approving (even in principle) the proposed tolled Kidex skyway via a MTES letter dated 23rd Feb, 2012, vis-a-vis the subsequent pledges served in the Buku Jingga Manifesto Rakyat in the run-up to May, 2013, polls would certainly regurgitate revoltingly now in the systems of many, given the fact that “abolishing tolls”, “abolishing monopolies” and “environmental sustainability” were among the highly tempting and palatable items served on the orange menu.

Many questions burn on the minds of these sectors of the electorate:

• What were the technical and costs documentations which the Selangor PR government had in hand from either the Federal Government or the skyway developer when the approval in principle was issued by MTES?

• On what basis did the MTES make the decision to approve Kidex in principle?

• Who were the State Exco members in the 2008–2013 term involved in the process?

• To what extent did the other Selangor Assemblymen (both 2008–2013 and current terms) know about these developments?

• To what extent did the rest of the Pakatan Rakyat leadership and machinery in the nation know about these developments?

• How can the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act now help the average citizen in Selangor, to unearth relevant documents, including the minutes of meetings which led to the decision, and unravel the truth to give credence to the one-time much hyped about elements of competency, accountability and transparency (CAT)?

The Pakatan Rakyat components came together as a pact to make the Buku Jingga pledges. It is time they collectively come together again to honour the pact and renounce any actions seen to be reneging on these pledges.

This includes long-respected and revered component party stalwarts of the Pakatan coalition.

The Kidex and extended issues are threatening your credibility, your character, and your honour.

Any other peripheral actions taken by the PR elected representatives, be it calling for re-alignment of the skyway, or asking the Federal government to reveal the terms of the concessionaire, or even substituting the corridor with a public transport line, would be construed as just side-stepping the central issue. Just be bold and noble: call a spade a spade.

A wise friend wrote: “Silence is reserved for moments with God”. The demi-God status enjoyed by many PR politicians, put on a pedestal by voters who were impressed by their incessant hurling of (justifiable) criticisms at the corruptness of the BN government, is fast fading.

The people have spoken up. It is time the PR politicians do the same, collectively!

Victor Chin, Petaling Jaya resident