Selangor cancels Kidex project
The Selangor government has cancelled the controversial Kinrara Damansara Expressway (Kidex), Menteri Besar Mohamed Azmin Ali announced today. Malaysian Insider reports:
He said the concessionaire – Kidex Sdn Bhd which is owned by the wife of former Chief Justice Tun Zaki Azmi and Umno lawyer Datuk Hafarizam Harun – had failed to fulfil the conditions set by the state government by the deadline on February 14.
“Because not a single condition was fulfiled by Kidex by the time of the deadline, the Selangor government hereby announces that the Kinrara Damansara Expressway project is cancelled,” Azmin said in a statement.
Among the conditions set by Selangor was for independent traffic and social impact assessments to be conducted in order to prove that the project would benefit not only road users, but also those living along the alignment, as well as the negatives of the project.
The state also wanted the concessionaire to reveal the toll rate throughout the concession period, including any hikes in between.
It also wanted to know the approximate amount the concessionaire would collect during the concession period and the rate of return on investment.
The fourth condition was for the full concession agreement to be disclosed in line with Pakatan Rakyat government’s thrust on transparency and accountability.
Azmin said the state had also taken into consideration public opinion on the matter in deciding whether a project would be beneficial.
“This same approach will be taken in considering applications by other concessionaires for highways planned in Selangor,” he said.
The 14.9km expressway was supposed to connect Kinrara in the southern part of the Klang Valley to Bandar Utama in the north and bypass Petaling Jaya.
Its supporters said it would cut down travel time between those areas by 25%.
But the project faced stiff resistance from residents who said it would worsen congestion and pollute their neighbourhoods.
Developer Kidex Sdn Bhd was to have built the highway at a cost of RM2.42 billion. The project was approved by Putrajaya and the developer had signed a concession agreement to collect toll on the highway. – February 16, 2015.