Ex-minister moots lawsuit to halt Kidex, Dash after Putrajaya greenlights highway


(Malay Mail Online) – Selangor residents opposed to the construction of more highways in their backyards should take the developers of the proposed Kinrara-Damansara Expressway (Kidex) and Damansara-Shah Alam Expressway (Dash) to court, Datuk Zaid Ibrahim said today.

The former de facto law minister made the proposal before a gathering of some 400 people Dataran Petaling Jaya here after the federal government approved the construction of Dash, and even offered to foot the legal services required for the lawsuit.

“Let’s take them to court. We have to try. Let’s not have them take us as fools, we must fight,” said the Kelantan-born who founded Malaysia’s largest law firm that also bears his name though he no longer has a stake in it.

Zaid, who has been an outspoken critic of the two proposed highways, now lives in an affluent section of the Selangor city.

Calling the projects “stupid” and “crazy”, he said the committee members for Say No to Kidex (STNK) and Say No to Dash (STND) should not get too caught up with the promised alignments to the highways.

“You just have to say no to this money-making venture. Period.

“This Pakatan government, they said they are different, people-friendly, if you are people-friendly, you don’t have to approve this from the start,” he said to loud claps and cheers.

Most of the demonstrators were residents from around the neighbourhood who came to the field decked with hats and held paper fans to ward off the heat.

The committee members of the anti-highway projects took a swipe at their Pakatan Rakyat (PR) elected representatives, criticising the lawmakers for inaction and drawing loud jeers from the crowd. Some even labelled the representatives “liars”.

Petaling Jaya Utara MP Tony Pua, Puchong MP Gobind Singh Deo, Subang MP Sivarasa Rasiah, Damansara Utama assemblyman Yeo Bee Yin and Bukit Gasing assemblyman Rajiv Rishyakaran were also at the rally, but were not invited to speak.

After the rally, the lawmakers told reporters they were “disappointed” they were not allowed to address the crowd to correct the “half-truths” and “lies” in the earlier speeches.

Reiterating, the lawmakers said they were against Kidex; as for Dash, they said the proposed highway greenlighted by the federal government had received support from Shah Alam residents.

The PR reps said however that a section of the Dash over the middle-class Mutiara Damansara neighbourhood should be reviewed.

About 6,000 petition forms to object the Selangor Structural Plan, 2,000 car stickers and another 2,000 house posters opposing the two controversial highways at the rally were available at the rally.

The rally organiser said more than 700 forms were signed today.

Works Minister Datuk Fadilah Yusof told Malay Mail Online last week that Dash and has been granted an approval effective December 25 last year, after its developer Prolintas Sdn Bhd had fulfilled the condition precedent.

The developer and the Malaysian Highway Authority (LLM) however were instructed to examine objections raised by some residents on the alignment route and that possible changes might be made into Dash’s final design.

Meanwhile, Kidex Sdn Bhd has until February 15 to fulfil three terms set by Selangor Mentri Besar Azmin Ali before the extended concession agreement expires.

The Kidex project has been rejected on three occasions by the city council as the developer failed to provide sufficient details.

Under Section 18 of the Town Country and Planning Act, construction cannot start unless a highway fits with the MBPJ’s local plans.

Among the areas that could be affected by the project are Tropicana Mall, SS2 Mall, Rothman’s traffic lights, Section 14, Amcorp Mall, Hilton Petaling Jaya, Tun Hussein Onn Eye Hospital, Jalan Templer roundabout, Taman Datuk Harun, Taman Medan Baru and Bandar Kinrara.