Rakyat Demand Selangor Menteri Besar To Officially Cancel The Degazettement Of KLNFR And PJD Link Highway
PRESS RELEASE FROM SAYNOTOPJDLINK.ORG
On 3 September 2021, the Selangor Pakatan Harapan leadership finally issued a joint statement on the degazettement of the Kuala Langat North Forest Reserve (KLNFR) and the Petaling Jaya Dispersal Link (PJD Link) issues, both of which are highly controversial and generating considerable unease among the general public.
While we welcome the pledge by the three state political leaders, ie. YAB Dato’ Seri Amirudin Shari (PKR), Gobind Singh Deo (DAP) and Ir. Izham Hashim (Amanah), to uphold "PH's basic principles related to the environment and its people's agenda as guidelines and guidance in every state development plan”, we would like to point out that Hee Loy Sian, the State Executive Councillor for Environment and Indigenous Affairs, conceded in the state assembly sitting on 30 August 2021 that the Selangor state government had already given the green light to the degazettement of KLNFR.
The decision was made despite a motion submitted by Kota Anggerik assemblyman Najwan Halimi last November to cancel the degazettement plan, which was unanimously supported in the state assembly. In defending the decision, Hee shrugged off public objections by arguing that motions from an individual “are not binding on the decision of the State Executive Council” (Malaysiakini 31 Aug).
On this, it is worth reminding that PH in its Buku Harapan – published before GE14 in 2018 – had criticized the then Barisan Nasional government for allowing Malaysia's development to take place without regard to environmental protection and sustainability, ignoring the protection of flora and fauna which are extremely important to environmental protection and preservation, as well as being dictated by large corporations and their crony capitalists.
It went on to promise a PH government that would “govern the country based on principles of sustainability and sustainable development… it will be an environmentally friendly Government”, taking into account the protection of biodiversity and socio-cultural factors of surrounding communities, especially the indigenous people.
Thus, we are shocked to witness the political arrogance on the part of Hee. Since PH has promised in its manifesto that all development projects must comply with international environmental protection standards before being granted approval, the onus is now on the Selangor PH state government to explain to the public on what basis has Gabungan Indah Sdn Bhd been granted the right to develop the degazetted portion of KLNFR.
With regards to the PJD Link, we recall that Selangor Menteri Besar YAB Dato’ Seri Amirudin Shari in a video interview with Malaysiakini in January this year, said it was “unfair” to equate the axed KIDEX with the “newly” proposed Petaling Jaya Dispersal Link (PJD Link). In fact, he didn’t just say it was “unfair”, but “definitely unfair”.
Selayang MP William Leong referred to the recent revelation in the Selangor state assembly (Malaysianow.com 30 Aug), that the PH government had agreed in principle to the PJD Link highway with several conditions. The fact that the state government was willing to even consider a highway project similar to Kidex that was already scrapped by the previous administration is troubling. It would mean any developer who has its proposal rejected by the state government could repackage it in the hope of an eventual approval. That would be a waste of public resources and cause unnecessary anxiety to residents. The rakyat feels misled after the said admittance at the state assembly.
On this, we again refer to Buku Harapan which says a PH government “will remain committed to increasing and improving economically sustainable public transportation so that owning private vehicles no longer become a burdening need of the people”. We are therefore dismayed that the Selangor government has not only failed to present a comprehensive public transportation plan for the state, but instead gone against its own manifesto by agreeing “in principle” to a toll highway that would cut through mature townships and further damage the environment. It is a highway that Petaling Jaya residents DO NOT WANT, plain and simple.
In short, the Selangor state government has failed to demonstrate transparency and accountability in the KLNFR and PJD Link issues, as decisions have been made without public engagement and consultation. We therefore demand that the Menteri Besar and the state government officially rescind the degazettement of KLNFR and cancellation of PJD Link highway.. Until and unless these are done and officially documented in the State Executive Council (“Majlis Mesyurarat Kerajaan Negeri”) minutes of meeting, the Rakyat of Selangor will persist to protest against the two plans.