UPDATE: On 16 February 2015, Selangor Mentri Besar Azmin Ali announced that the Kidex highway plan has been cancelled because the developer did not meet its conditions by the 14 February deadline. The decision came in the wake of public pressure and an independent review that showed poor planning between different levels of government.
What is the Kidex highway?
The Kinrara-Damansara Expressway (Kidex) is a proposed elevated 14.9km highway that is intended to reduce traveling time between Damansara and Kinrara and ease traffic from existing roads.
It will start at NKVE, near the Damansara interchange, and will end at the Bukit Jalil Highway near Kinrara. Construction of the multi-billion ringgit highway could begin as soon as next year and be completed by 2018.
How big will it be?
Kidex Sdn Bhd CEO Datuk Mohd Nor Idrus stated that 40% of the elevated highway will be 24m high (equivalent to an eight-storey building) another 40% would be 16m high and the remaining 20% would be 8m above ground.
How much will it cost?
For its length, Kidex highway is the country’s most expensive highway to date. The highway is estimated to cost RM2.4bil, that’s RM 161 million per kilometre.
What are the criticisms against the highway?
The main complaint is that no consent had been obtained from the residents affected. According the agreement between the Federal Government and Kidex Sdn Bhd, construction can only begin once the company has fulfilled certain conditions, one of which is getting the public feedback through surveys and meetings.
The Kidex project has been rejected on three occasions by the city council as developers had failed to provide sufficient details such as the Traffic Impact Assesssment (TIA). Despite this, Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim had reiterated his earlier stance that the construction will go on and will not be impeded by political polemics.
How are the residents affected by the highway?
3,784 lots are affected by a land-sale freeze; however the developer has said that only 380 lots will be acquired On top of that, property owners will face the prospect of value depreciation of their property due to close proximity to the highway.
How have residents reacted?
“Say No To Kidex” is a group formed to protest the highway, with many increasingly frustrated by the lack of transparency . Vice-chairman of the “Say No to Kidex” committee P. Selva said there was no prior notice and when necessary documents of the project were demanded from the expressway’s developer, the residents were told the papers were highly classified and those who made it public could go behind bars. A town hall meeting between Kidex Sdn Bhd and residents broke down after residents accused the company of using the meeting as a means to push the project through, rather than answer their questions.
Who else is opposed to the project?
The anti-Kidex residents have obtained the support of SUHAKAM ,which holds that prior consent of the residents as necessary for the construction to continue. Some politicians such as Bukit Gasing assemblyman, Rajiv Rishyakaran, and Puchong MP, Gobind Singh Deo have joined the residents in opposing the construction.
What does Kidex have to say?
Kidex CEO Datuk Mohd Nor Idrus has responded by saying that the highway will be bring “economic spillover benefits” for the area and “90% of the expressway alignment would be on existing roads.” The highway is expected to reduce travel time between Damansara and Kinrara by up to 25%.
So who’s responsible?
The approval and alignment of Kidex is under the responsibility of the federal government while the Selangor State Government has a right to advise.
The project was initiated by the federal government when the Malaysian Highway Authority signed an agreement with Kidex Sdn Bhd on 15 November 2013. However, since then, the Selangor government has been involved in the approval of the construction when it published a gazette under Section 4 of the Land Acquisition Act freezing 3,784 land lots from being traded on 18 July 2013.
Selangor Menteri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim has stated that the state government never agreed to the highway, but has also called it an integral part of Selangor’s transport plans.
Petaling Jaya mayor Datin Paduka Alinah Ahmad arranged a closed-door meeting on 6 June with Kidex Sdn Bhd, Malaysian Highway Authority, Works Ministry, Town and Country Planning Department, MPs, assemblemen, and the Petaling Jaya City councillors. However, the meeting had been postponed to June 13, to enable Kidex to submit all the necessary reports and give time for MBPJ to study the Traffic Impact Assessment (TIA)
Yasmin Lane and Audi Bin Ali
First published June 2014, updated February 2015.