Selangor highway opponents rage against Rafizi


(MMO) – Some 100 Selangor residents opposed to the proposed construction of a slew of elevated highways that will crisscross through their neighbourhoods vented their frustration with the state government at PKR lawmaker Rafizi Ramli today.

The Pandan MP who was invited to the gathering of critics against the proposed Damansara-Shah Alam Highway (DASH), Kinrara-Damansara Expressway (Kidex) and Shah Alam-Ulu Kelang Expressway (SUKE) was barraged with questions when he attempted to explain the state government under the leadership of his party deputy president and Selangor Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Azmin Ali.

“What is the point you all are in the government but you cannot change the rules that you criticised?” asked Mak Khuin Weng, a committee member of the anti-Kidex and anti-DASH pressure groups at the meeting in the Kelab Darul Ehsan country club here.

Another man also stood up and demanded Rafizi take responsibility as a PKR office-bearer and Selangor elected representative.

“You are the elected representative in Selangor. You must represent the entire Selangor and not just your constituency. Some more, your party rule Selangor; you must take responsibility!” said the man to cheers from the other highway opponents. His identity could not be determined at the time.

Shah Zarak Khar, a member of the anti-SUKE lobby group, took to a makeshift stage set up in the function room at the country club, with his young son. He made a speech and asked the residents present if they wanted the highway projects which he claimed would affect the future of their children. They responded with a resounding “No!”

Rafizi who is also PKR secretary-general, sought to dispel the hostility towards him saying he attended after receiving an invitation from one of his constituents to accept a memorandum on the proposed highway.

“I was told to be here around 9am-plus because my constituents want to submit a memorandum about the SUKE highway. If there’s anything more than that, I cannot be part of that,” he said.

The gathering lasted roughly two hours.

At a press conference later, Mak said Pakatan Harapan should focus to help the people instead of their internal conflict.

“Always blame PAS, blame DAP, blame PKR. Or blame Barisan Nasional. MCA is wrong, Gerakan is wrong. But when we wanted to discuss issues of residents, they said that is not their area,” he told reporters.

Another resident, P Selve Sugamaran who is also against the Kidex project, told the news conference that Rafizi should not make so much noise about 1 Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) because “it was not a concern in his constituency.”

Several grassroots groups have banded together to object the construction of three major highways crisscrossing Malaysia’s most industrial state — DASH, the SUKE and the East Klang Valley Expressway (EKVE) — along with some Petaling Jaya residents want after hearing about the proposed Petaling Jaya Dispersal Link (PJD Link), seen as a revival of the scrapped Kidex.

The PJD Link expressway is a 34.3km dual-carriage expressway with four lanes and eight interchanges/ramps, according to the information published in the promotional pamphlet sighted by Malay Mail Online.

Similar to Kidex, the new proposed expressway is to act as an alternative to the heavily-trafficked Lebuhraya-Damansara Puchong (LDP), providing access to the fast-growing development corridor connecting Damansara, Petaling Jaya, Shah Alam, Puchong, Kinrara and Putrajaya.

Last year, Azmin denied he was responsible for the SUKE, DASH and EKVE highway projects, and that the approvals for these projects were issued up to six years ago.