Bangi MP Ong Kian Ming speaks to the press in Kajang May 11, 2022. — Picture by Devan Manuel
By Keertan Ayamany
Monday, 30 May 2022 11:30 AM MYT
KUALA LUMPUR, May 30 — Bangi MP Ong Kian Ming today urged the government to provide further details surrounding three new highways that are supposedly in the works, namely the Petaling Jaya Traffic Dispersal Elevated Highway (PJD Link), Putrajaya-Bangi Expressway (PBE) and the Kuala Lumpur Northern Dispersal Expressway (KL-Node).
In a statement this morning, Ong directed his questions to the Public Private Partnership Unit (Ukas), a unit under the Prime Minister’s Department; the Works Ministry (MoW); and the Transport Ministry (MoT).
“What is the estimated cost for the construction of each of these announced highways? Who are the concessionaires for each of these highways and were these concessions selected through open tender?
“If the open tender method was not chosen, what are the qualifications of these concession companies that enabled them to be appointed by Ukas to implement these highway projects?
“Do these concession companies have the experience and a strong track record to give confidence to Ukas that they will be able to implement these projects well?” he asked.
Ong also wanted to know the number of government grants and soft loans granted for each of the projects — either by Ukas or the finance minister — and the basis of these allocations.
He then requested for the terms and conditions in the concession agreement to be made known, including the toll rate, whether the toll rate will be increased over time, and the amount of compensation to be paid by the government if the toll rates are not increased.
He also asked if the MoW could provide the estimated traffic flow for these three highways, and also public access to all traffic flow studies completed, to prove that these highways would really reduce traffic congestion in the areas involved.
He also questioned if the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) routes were considered as an alternative to the three new highways.
On May 22, Utusan Malaysia quoted Senior Works Minister Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof as saying that the three projects had been approved in principle, in order to overcome traffic congestion in the Klang Valley.
Without offering much details, Fadillah was reported as saying that the PJD Link is still undergoing several assessments: a social impact assessment (SIA), an environmental impact assessment (EIA) and a traffic impact assessment (TIA).
He was also reported saying that the PBE project is in the final phase of cost negotiations, while the alignment for KL-Node has not been determined and is still being evaluated.
On May 23, Free Malaysia Today reported Fadillah as saying that the three new highways had been proposed by the private sector, and there was no guarantee that these new highways would alleviate traffic congestion, as there is an increasing number of vehicles on the road.