Selangor Journal
Petaling Jaya MP Lee Chean Chung speaks to the press after the officiation of the Petaling Jaya Parliamentary Service Centre, as Petaling Jaya MP Lee Chean Chung (left) looks on, at Jalan Othman in Petaling Jaya, on May 13, 2023. — Picture by AHMAD ZAKKI JILAN/SELANGORKINI

MP welcomes PJD Link cancellation, now wants improvements to mobility

By Amar Shah Mohsen

SHAH ALAM, April 17 — Petaling Jaya MP Lee Chean Chung has welcomed the Federal government’s decision to scrap the controversial Petaling Jaya Dispersal (PJD) Link project, describing the move as “wise”.

The Parti Keadilan Rakyat lawmaker said the next step now is for Putrajaya to implement major enhancements to the public transportation system.

While shelving the contentious highway is the right move, the government should also focus on mobility and accessibility.

“I would like to congratulate the Cabinet for the timely and wise decision on the matter. However, I think Petaling Jaya residents are also looking for a more sustainable solution to fulfil their mobility needs.

“Scrapping the PJD Link project is one thing, but equally important is a good public transportation system and the urgent upgrading of the first and last mile connectivity,” he told Selangor Journal yesterday.

Lee said this is crucial to ensure the ease and comfort of those opting to commute via public transportation.

Earlier today, Unity Government spokesman Fahmi Fadzil announced that the Cabinet has decided to scrap the PJD Link project and will not hold any further discussions with the developer.

The Communications Minister said the firm had requested an extension of time to fulfil all conditions precedent set out by the government, but Putrajaya rejected the application.

“Our decision is not to proceed (with discussions). As a result of its failure to fulfil a number of conditions precedent, the project will not proceed,” he said during a post-Cabinet press conference.

The proposed PJD Link would have connected the north and south of Petaling Jaya, with the goal of easing traffic woes for road users.

It was initially approved in principle by the Cabinet in November 2017 and later by the state government in 2020, subject to impact assessment reports by the concessionaire.

However, the project was met with strong disapproval by various groups, including residents’ associations, who expressed concerns over the impact of the development on the surrounding areas.

On April 7, Menteri Besar Dato’ Seri Amirudin Shari said the state government would not support the proposed PJD Link project unless it is realigned to satisfy all stakeholders.

He said the developer needed to consider realigning the highway to avoid areas where local communities have expressed their disapproval.

In July last year, Amirudin said the state would only consider approving the project if it is satisfied with the findings of the studies conducted by the concession company and with public feedback.

An artist’s rendering of the proposed Petaling Jaya Dispersal (PJD) Link project. — Picture via pjdlink.com.my

No more waiting, act now

In a separate press statement, Lee said PJD Link’s cancellation requires the government to devise alternative solutions to congestion in affected areas.

The traffic woes faced by road users today stem from a poor public transportation system, inconsistent first and last-mile connectivity, and urban planning that does not prioritise buses, e-scooters, bicycles, and pedestrians.

“Although the PJD Link (project) has been scrapped, the problem of congestion still requires the immediate attention of both the Federal and state governments.

“To address the constraints of a car-oriented economy, the government must have a strong and clear commitment. Besides PJD Link, the government must propose concrete alternatives to the people.

“Although the government has spent billions to build KTM, LRT, and MRT, the issue of connectivity remains poor, and there is a lack of clear action taken to address the longstanding issue,” he said.

Lee stressed the importance for Putrajaya to act immediately before the situation deteriorates further.

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