09 August PRESS RELEASE - The Chairman of Stakeholders cum Residents Against PJD Link Highway (SCRAP Highway) Mr David Yoong and representatives of Say No To PJD Link Highway and Petaling Jaya Residents Associations were granted an audience by the Federal Works Minister, YB Dato’ Sri Hj Fadillah Hj Yusof at the Parliament building on 2 August, 2022.
The delegation of PJ residents comprising of engineers and professionals, presented their views to the Minister, including concerns on social, economic and environmental impacts of the highway cutting across PJ city.
Questions were also raised on PJD Link’s efficacy to relieve traffic congestion in PJ, due to its limited direct connections to other existing highways and public transit stations, and challenges posed to the safe geometric design and constructability of the highway, parts of which will skew sharp turns and swerve past existing buildings at close range.
The delegation is now seeking to meet with YAB Dato’ Menteri Besar Selangor, Dato’ Seri Amirudin Shari, the State Executive Council members, and Majlis Tindakan Ekonomi Selangor (MTES) officers who issued an in-principle approval to the developer via their letter dated 3 September, 2020, which in turn reportedly opened the pathway for the signing of the concessionaire agreement between the Federal government and the highway developer.
Noting that the proposed PJ Dispersal Link highway is closely replicated after the former Kidex expressway which was cancelled in February, 2015, the delegates are also keen to know if any additional information or mitigation measures have been presented by the developer to convince MTES to issue yet another go-ahead, despite the fact the new highway remains tolled, and no process of open tender was apparent to the public preceding all current negotiations, which appear to be incongruous with Pakatan Harapan manifesto pledges.
The delegation looks forward to open dialogues with YAB Menteri Besar and his State government, including proposals to conduct independent transportation planning studies to review if urban highways are appropriate solutions that properly fit the aspirations of Petaling Jaya residents and businesses, as expressed in the sustainable living and low carbon aspirations of the city, as well as the First Selangor Plan RS-1.
David Yoong said, “We urge the YAB Menteri Besar and Selangor government to not only solve traffic congestion problems and stimulate the economy, but to adopt longer term sustainable measures that will integrate and harmonize with comprehensive blueprints for generating sustainable economic growth, safer and healthier living conditions and a greener environment.”
As part of the protest against the PJD Link highway, the following representatives have agreed to attend a meeting with The Federal Works Minister at 3pm on Tuesday, 2 Aug 2022, to hand over a memorandum in Parliament :-
1. James Tan, professional senior valuer,
2. David Yoong, engineer, representing SCRAP,
3. Michael Kum, engineer, representing SCRAP and RA Sec 20,
4. Justin Lee, architect, representing saynotopjdlink.org and founder of Bike Commute KL,
5. Melvin David, property manager, representing saynotopjdlink.org,
6. Thomas Ng, entrepreneur in green construction, representing Sec 19.
Justin will also be cycling to Parliament to make a statement about the Climate Crisis and to encourage considerations for alternative modes of transportation.
Note: All protests on the saynotopjdlink.org website will be considered as signatories to the following memorandums (including 1 memorandum to the Menteri Besar of Selangor at a later date). If you have not already submitted your protest, now is the time to do so at this website on the home page.
23 July 2022, Petaling Jaya - Some 150 residents and politicians from both sides of the divide came together for a peaceful protest against the PJD Link Highway in Bandar Utama Petaling Jaya, on Saturday morning. This was the second protest in July which saw new faces and residents from Bandar Utama, SS20 Damansara K8im, Section 4, Damansara Utama, Damansara Jaya, SS2 and other Petaling Jaya neighbourhoods.
The Stakeholders Cum Residents Against PJD Link (SCRAP Highway) chairman David Yoong gave an overview of the proposed alignment. Bandar Utama residents were informed that based on existing information of the proposed highway, getting onto the highway will be without connections to come down to Sprint onward to Kuala Lumpur, or to LDP in both northward and southward directions. Instead, Bandar Utama residents will be compelled to pay toll at the Jalan Harapan toll plaza, after which the first available exit is only at the Jalan Penchala interchange.
In short, the PJD Link serves no real purpose to the majority of Bandar Utama residents whilst it is being constructed at Bandar Utama's doorstep. The highway has the potential to irreversibly damage Bandar Utama's environment, bring traffic congestion and alter the social fabric of the entire BU Community.
Tuan Haji Syed Mohd Taufik a long time resident of Bandar Utama, stated that if the PJD link highway was to allow traffic into Lebuh Bandar Utama (near Balai Polis Bandar Utama), it would cause terrible traffic congestion. “Where is the EIA, SIA and TIA?”.
Dr Ong See Lian Damansara Jaya Residents & Owners Association (DUROA) spoke at the protest. “Representing 10,000 residents and 200 businesses in Damansara Jaya, our residents are distressed by the announcement of the PJD Link highway. This highway will further aggravate the wellbeing of our residents. Our residents want to enjoy the inter district connectivity and not allow this highway to cut off the inter neighbourhood mobility of the residents. Houses in Jalan SS22/2 will likely have a severe impact on their valuation, estimating a possibility of losing 30% of value compared to other houses nearby. This highway goes against Local Agenda 21 and residents need to be consulted”.Dr. Ong urges the Government to reject the PJD Link and focus on sustainable development such as building safe bicycle lanes and pedestrian walkways to improve the well being of the residents.
MP Maria Chin Abdullah, MP Sivarasa Rasiah, Selayang MP William Leong, Sungai Pelek assemblyman Ronnie Liu, Damansara MCA chairman Tan Gim Tuan and Taman Medan assemblyman Syamsul Firdaus Mohamed Supri were in attendance during the protest.
Representatives from saynotopjdlink.org encouraged residents to register their protest online at www.saynotopjdlink.org. The online petition campaign is open for all residents to petition against the proposed highway. A map of the initial proposed highway alignment is available for the public to view on the website, while waiting for the official alignment to be made public by the developer. 2,300 online protests have already been received and are growing by the day.
A group of representatives remain steadfast in getting a meeting with YB Tuan Ir Izham Bin Hashim, Chairman of the Infrastructure, Public Utilities, Modernisation of Agriculture and Agro-based Industry. The aim is to get an explanation of the guidelines and procedures concerning the Selangor's government's decision making on the upcoming highway plans. This is for the purpose of transparency so that residents will know the entire process which needs to allow for affected residents to give formal feedback. Residents are asking for an independent and fair expert to review the proposed highway.
The federal government had given approval to 3 highways and this was announced recently by works Minister Fadillah Yusof. They are the Petaling Jaya Dispersal Link (PJD Link), the Bangi-Putrajaya Expressway (BPE) and the Kuala Lumpur Northern Dispersal Expressway (KL NODE). Last month, Fadillah said that all three projects would be fully funded by the concessionaires. The PJD Link, which is a tolled elevated highway, would cut across densely populated parts of Petaling Jaya.
A peaceful protest is being organised with the following details:
Date: 23 July 2022
Location: See map below on parking and protest locations
Use Google Maps To The Location: Click here
The peaceful protest by residents of Petaling Jaya is due to the announcement by the federal government that had given approval to 3 highways - announced recently by Works Minister Fadillah Yusof. Recently, Fadillah said that all three projects would be fully funded by the concessionaires. The PJD Link, which is a tolled elevated highway, would cut across densely populated parts of Petaling Jaya.
Please save the date on your calendar and residents are encouraged to attend. The recent protest at Section 14 on July 2 was peaceful. Police officers were on duty and on site to observe (advance notice was given by organizers). The event started and finished on time in an orderly manner.
By turning up, we will send a message to the Selangor government that Petaling Jaya residents want this highway cancelled.
Watch the video - Peaceful protest at Section 14 with interviews featuring YB William Leong, YB Ronnie Liu, YB Maria Chin Abdullah, YB Syamsul Firdaus, Mr David Yoong - Chairman SCRAP PJD LINK Highway, Mr Tan Gim Tuan - Damansara MCA chairman
Watch the video - Press conference with elected representatives.
CALL TO ACTION BY ALL STAKEHOLDERS, RESIDENTS & BUSINESSES OWNERS.
By Scrap Highway Team
The PJDL Highway, a 34.3 km elevated, tolled highway cutting across Petaling Jaya city, has been approved by Federal Government. If Selangor State Government approves it, we will suffer consequences beyond generations.
We urge all concerned residents of Petaling Jaya to stand up and join this peaceful assembly. Come and help raise awareness, and protest against the PJD Link Highway.
** Please invite your friends, fellow residents to jointly participate with us!
Date : Saturday, 2 July 2022
Time : 9:00 am to 10:00 am
Location : Jalan Prof Khoo Kay Kim near Masjid Bulat (On the same side as the mosque and Quill building, going towards Rothmans traffic lights junction)
Google Maps location here
1. PDRM approval
a. IPD have been informed formally ahead of the event.
b. This is a peaceful, silent protest - no chanting, no marching.
2. Observe SOPs
a. Wear masks and observe social distancing.
b. Do not use poles or pipes to hold up the banners as these may be construed as weapons. Hold the banners up by hand.
c. Ensure that participants have a place to gather safely.
d. Crossing roads only when traffic is clear, do not go too near to the road edge, use proper footwear. Wear high-vis safety vests (if you have).
e. Safety of participants is paramount.
3. Press Interviews
a. If any members of the Press interview participants, say :
PJDL highway will have an adverse impact on the traffic, environmental and social aspects of PJ Stakeholders, Residents and Businesses Owners.
4. Press Briefing
a. Press briefing with YBs and leaders will be held at a selected beverage outlet near Right Angle (opposite Masjid Bulat), at Sec14, PJ.
5. Final Advice
a. Disperse when asked by PDRM, or after 10am, or when it is announced that the event is over, whichever is earlier.
6. Who should attend: Any affected Stakeholders, Residents and Businesses Owners along the highway alignment may join in the silent protest.
Organised by SCRAP Highway Team in conjunction with other PJD Link protest groups. We look forward to see you at the above location on Saturday, 2 July, 2022 at 9 am.
Source: The Vibes
SHAH ALAM – A group of long-time Petaling Jaya residents staged a peaceful protest in front of the Selangor state secretariat complex this morning against the construction of the Petaling Jaya Traffic Dispersal Elevated Highway (PJD Link).
Speaking on behalf of the group, Tracy Toh, said the 34.3km expressway, which cuts through established neighbourhoods, is ultimately destructive for local residents and unlikely to alleviate traffic woes.
“We are making this stand in front of the state secretariat building today because our online protest and opposition by MPs and resident groups against the PJD Link have been ignored.
“It shouldn’t fall on us to exhaust our resources to fight a developer. The state and federal governments should be acting in the interest of existing residents, business owners, and stakeholders, but they aren’t doing so,” said Toh.
Toh also lamented the lack of information on the PJD Link despite repeated requests by residents to elected representatives and state agencies.
As such, Toh added that they have filed a request under the state’s Freedom of Information Enactment (FOI) to gain more information on the expressway.
“The FOI request is being done because our elected representatives for Petaling Jaya, save for one, have failed to ask these questions at the state assembly or Parliament, or used their offices to obtain this information,'' she said.
Resident representative Tracy Toh says that the 43.3km expressway, which cuts through established neighbourhoods, is ultimately destructive for local residents and unlikely to alleviate traffic woes. – SAIRIEN NAFIS/The Vibes pic, June 24, 2022
Resident representative Tracy Toh says that the 43.3km expressway, which cuts through established neighbourhoods, is ultimately destructive for local residents and unlikely to alleviate traffic woes. – SAIRIEN NAFIS/The Vibes pic, June 24, 2022
Toh also said that residents and the public at large were not consulted on the expressway as there hasn’t been a single town hall on the matter.
“Some elected representatives are refusing to even take a stand on the PJD Link issue,” she said.
Also present at the protest was Damansara MCA chairman Tan Gim Tuan who called on the state government and the respective elected representatives to be transparent on the project.
He further explained that the residents have a right to scrutinise the project’s traffic impact assessment report as well as the environmental assessment report before it can even proceed with construction.
“There is also a statutory requirement for such projects to go through public consultation, so they must come clean,” he said.
‘Say No to Kidex’
PJD Link is a 34.3km expressway set to begin from the NKVE toll plaza in Damansara and end at the Bukit Jalil highway interchange.
Toh said that PJD Link is the new name of the Kinrara-Damansara Expressway (Kidex) that had been scrapped previously back in 2015.
“We notice that the proposed PJD Link alignment is nearly 90% similar to Kidex and is supposedly being built by the same developer,'” she said.
Toh also stressed that Petaling Jaya residents are “tired and fatigued” of fighting off the same issue as they had vehemently opposed the construction of Kidex in the past.
“It is unfair that we have to keep fending off this issue over and over again. We do not have massive resources to fight off state governments or developers who have deep pockets.
“We have no choice but to resurrect the Say No to Kidex group and keep up the pressure,” she said. – The Vibes, June 24, 2022
The government has announced proposed private sector plans to build three new highways in the Klang Valley to resolve congestion issues. We discuss whether the rationale for more highways holds water and policy measures to ease perennial urban traffic jams with transport consultant Rosli Azad. Source here.
Thanks to our volunteer Miss B, we have summarised the podcast so that you can have a quick read:
Q: Are highways a solution to our congestions issues and what are the concerns that should be raised on the sudden announcement of highway approvals in the city?
1. No one in the world builds highways to alleviate congestions. They build highways for the purpose of a bypass or as a ring road.
2. Highways by its very nature, attracts traffic.
Q: The lack of details in approving these highway approvals have triggered many questions. What are your main concerns?
1. There is no master plan for the Klang Valley city. One is needed to determine the number of car, taxis, trains and bus trips are expected to be made before deciding what is to be built in the city.
2. We don't have a master plan, hence decisions are made on an adhoc basis
3. Another major issue is the constant floods in KL. Why is this issue not solved first instead of focusing on building more highways?
Q: In your opinion are there any justification for building more highways in the Klang Valley?
1. The minister has said that he hopes the highways will solve traffic congestions. We cannot plan on the basis of hope.
2. The minister seems to be accepting private sector proposals for the planning of the entire Klang Valley city. Why do we leave the planning aspect of a massive Klang Valley area to the private sector who have companies that have an interest in collecting toll?
3. These companies will only be interested on building highways in high demand corridors where they forecast to have huge volume of traffic that will be channeled to their highways. This is in order to collect toll and justify the cost of building the highways in the first place.
4. On the contrary, the government should first have a master building plan, and if found that they don't have the budget to build on a particular alignment, they then can invite the private sector companies to build the highways, and not the other way around.
5. It has to be on the basis of an open tender, and not to accept the proposals from the private sector.
*Q: Does the traffic congestions have anything to do with the poor design of the planning of our roads in the city? *
1. They build at specific zones to attract traffic/direct volume onto the highways, with the believe that traffic speed will increase. However, that is a false assumption, and because of tolled highways, other adjacent areas will become more congested as people will take the residential roads to bypass the tolls.
Q: One seemingly obvious solution to congestion is public transportation, but this has problems of its own, ranging from last mile connectivity to the facilities themselves. So how do you think the government should approach this?
1. The government need to know what is the "first-mile" and the "last-mile" that users go through when using MRT/LRT
2. At the moment, the government is only providing carparks. In other words, they expect the public to drive to the stations, park their car, and take the LRT/MRT. There are no facilities to connect to these stations.
3. We should emulate other cities where Congestion Charges are implemented for driving into the cities.
1. The frustration is why are there private sector proposals circumventing the planning process?
2. Where is the thought process to connect PJD Link highway connect to the MRT/LRT?
Note: The above summary is for brevity. Please listen to the entire podcast for the details.
Source: www.malaysiakini.com /columns/622707
By David Yoong 28/05/2022
COMMENT | Works Minister Fadillah Yusof revealed recently that the federal government had approved several proposals from private companies to build new highways in Klang Valley.
One of these is the Petaling Jaya Dispersal Link (PJDL), a tolled elevated highway cutting across and over compact parts of PJ city.
What are the preliminary findings or detailed traffic studies that led to the decision that Petaling Jaya even needs a “congestion relief“ measure in the form of an urban highway cutting through its densely built core?
Has the Works Ministry or the private developer disclosed any survey data on traffic patterns and vehicular volumes currently running in and through the city?
Private Finance Initiative (PFI)
“Privately funded” projects are never really funded privately. For highway infrastructure projects like PJDL, the funding comes eventually from toll collections over long periods of concessions, the terms of which are never revealed. Toll payers foot the bills.
PJDL was proposed by one monopoly developer. There was no open, transparent and competitive tender. If any efforts were made to achieve the most optimised standards and costs, these were not disclosed to the public.
Some opposition politicians in the past have echoed objections to these PFI initiatives on account of cronyism practices and other alleged departures from accepted norm practices.
Notwithstanding this, in reality, it is challenging and difficult to determine with accuracy the construction costs of massive infrastructure projects such as PJDL, reported to be 34.3km long (including on/off ramps at interchanges).
Underlying soil or rock strata vary greatly along its route. Uncharted underground services and their diversions pose another set of unknowns. Only limited information may be derived from soil investigation probes.
Handling existing traffic and safety of road users immediately next to heavy construction activities, upkeep and maintenance of existing roads, and building elevated decks sailing over existing flyovers, LRT lines and TNB high-tension cables additionally pose challenges to the developer in terms of time and related costs management.
Hence any developer will buffer up huge contingency costs to cater for unforeseen variables during construction. It is a myth that privately funded projects will deliver with certainty the most effective cost savings plan or work implementation ecosystem.
It is misleading for a competent and responsible government to adopt and justify PFI practices purely on account that the government does not have to come up with any funding. The rakyat suffers the impact of such inept practices for generations to come.
If at all adopted, the only viable alternative is for the government to play a greater role in formulating a needs-based master blueprint for development with guidelines and specifications, based on which open tender must be called and assessed independently based on merits.
Dense mature city
Running a highway through a dense mature city and channelling traffic both onto and out of the highway through interchanges with direct (no buffer) links to existing local roads is simply suicidal.
One route alignment option proposed by the developer and sighted by residents shows interchange ramps running in close vicinity of existing hospitals and schools. Ramps have to be constructed either in green belts within existing road reserves or run in existing road medians, thereby forcing on-ramp and off-ramp traffic to interlace with or interrupt movements of vehicles travelling on existing fast lanes.
Substantial segments (estimated to be about 3km long) run in the river reserve of existing Sungai Penchala, which will cause a reduction of waterway flow capacities, increased silting and piling up of rubbish. Many other stretches squeeze between existing commercial buildings with less than 3m distance separating them.
These proposals are the most inefficacious engineering solutions one can imagine. They make a mockery of town planning principles and practices, and the reversal of road hierarchy (connecting highway traffic directly onto local roads without buffer links) is a surefire formula for causing more traffic jams.
Instead of relieving traffic, existing local roads, junctions and intersections, especially those leading to and from the interchanges, will be choked up.
Public transportation vs highways
Calls have been made by many sectors for greater emphasis on providing better public transportation. The National Transport Policy 2019 – 2030 set the vision and pace anchored on sustainable transport.
In the past, the Works Ministry has argued that there remains 40 percent - 60 percent of road users who will still prefer to drive their own cars to commute. Some may be goods vehicles (vans, trucks, lorries). If highways must still be built on these justifications, what happened to the old trusted “outer ring road” concept?
There are alternative ring-around routings which will connect both ends of the proposed PJDL alignment, running in a similar predominantly north-south direction, without having to bludgeon through the built-up city. Spare the environment, avoid displacing existing home dwellers, stop depreciating PJ property values – in short, do not build incisive and invasive highways through Petaling Jaya.
Within the city itself, localised relief measures are adequate to resolve specific chokepoints, currently centred on a few local arterial thoroughfares where vehicles get into the NPE (New Pantai Expressway), heading towards PJ South, or along the LDP heading north.
Old trusted solutions using short spans above-grade bridges (commonly known as flyovers) or underpasses (tunnels) will suffice. There is no need to construct a massive highway throughout the entire city. (These solutions should rightly fall under the jurisdiction of the Selangor state government and the MBPJ city council. Discussions on these will be addressed in a separate article.)
The works minister is urged to look at the science, look at the engineering. The welfare and living well-being of a mature city and its dwellers must not be gambled away on uncertain solutions pre-qualified by admission statements of “no guarantee” for their effectiveness.
DAVID YOONG is a who has practised engineering in his own consultancy for 40 years.
The views expressed here are those of the author/contributor and do not necessarily represent the views of Malaysiakini.
PETALING JAYA: The federal government should disclose the studies that led to the approval of three new highways, including the elevated highway in Petaling Jaya, for public scrutiny, said an assemblyman.
DAP’s Bukit Gasing assemblyman Rajiv Rishyakaran said the approvals were announced after a long period of silence from the works ministry, although rumours of the revival of the Petaling Jaya Traffic Dispersal Elevated Highway (PJD Link) had been circulating for the past two years.
“Suddenly, we hear that the federal government has approved these projects without any public consultation whatsoever,” he said in a statement.
Rajiv said there had been no disclosures on justifications, traffic, environmental and social impact studies.
“To add insult to injury, senior minister Fadillah ‘hopes’ that the highway will improve connectivity. He himself doesn’t seem too convinced,” he said, referring to works minister Fadillah Yusof’s recent statement.
Rajiv said it was baffling that there were no calls for studies to be carried out and instead of being based on solid facts, decisions had been made based on “hope”.
“We all know that any new elevated highway in a matured township like PJ is going to cause major negatives, such as noise, dust, making the city ugly and taking up precious space that could be devoted to future LRT lines.”
He added that the new highways could worsen congestion if ramps were not placed in the right locations.
His comments came after Fadillah said that the government had approved proposals from the private sector for the construction of new highways.
“With these new highways, we hope the connectivity within the Klang Valley and with the rest of the country will improve,” Fadillah said at the ministry’s Hari Raya celebration.
However, he said there was no guarantee that these new highways would alleviate traffic congestion due to the increasing number of vehicles on the road.
Besides PJD Link, the other projects are the Putrajaya–Bangi Expressway (PBE) and the Kuala Lumpur Northern Dispersal Expressway (KL-NODE).
Source: Free Malaysia Today 26 Dec 2021.
HULU LANGAT: The construction of the East Klang Valley Expressway (EKVE) is believed to be one of the causes of the mud floods around Taman Sri Nanding in Hulu Langat, Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob said.
He said he made this observation after finding that the construction of the highway had caused drains in the area to be clogged, thus disrupting the drainage system. “This flood was not only caused by the rainwater but it was also due to the EKVE project, based on my observation around Taman Sri Nanding.
“Clogged drains caused the floodwaters to rise quickly,” he said during a press conference after attending a gotong-royong to clean up the flood-hit areas in Taman Sri Nanding and Kampung Dusun Tua here today.
Hulu Langat was among the worst-hit areas during the massive floods that devastated parts of the country last week. So far, police have confirmed 47 fatalities due to the floods from all over the country. Another five people are still missing.
Inspector-General of Police Acryl Sani Abdullah Sani, who accompanied Ismail during his visit to Hulu Langat, said 25 deaths were reported in Selangor, followed by 19 in Pahang and three in Kelantan.