Crowdfunding for residents’ judicial review takes off after Selangor MB’s ‘u-turn’ on PJD Link project

A group against the Petaling Jaya Dispersal Link (PJD Link) Expressway says its crowdfunding campaign for its judicial review application against the authorities has spiked to RM50,000. And the group has one person to thank – caretaker Selangor Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Amirudin Shari.

‘Say No to PJD Link’ coordinator Billie Tan said that while the group had initiated its crowdfunding initiative last month, there was a sudden spike in collections this week after Amirudin made an apparent ‘u-turn’, just a few hours after announcing on Monday, that the state government had scrapped the project.

On Monday afternoon, Amirudin had said that the proposed PJD Link Expressway did not meet the conditions set by the state government, and that the administration had decided to scrap the project. However, that same night, he told reporters that the project could still go on, if it met the state government’s requirements.

Tan said while the group was taken aback by the actions of the menteri besar to blow hot and cold over the status of the highway project, there seems to be a silver lining.

“I think the menteri besar has just done us a favour by making such a quick u-turn, as this has made more people angry,” said Tan.

“Our donations (to pay for the legal fees for the judicial review application) have spiked. We have gathered quite a bit in such a short time.

“It took us a long time to get to the first milestone, but now, the sum has jumped quite a bit,” said Tan, who said the group aims to collect RM100,000 through the initiative.

The judicial review application was filed at the Kuala Lumpur High Court on June 7 by four affected residents. In their application, the residents, led by T. Chakaravathi, named the director-general of the Urban and Regional Planning Department, the director of the Selangor Urban and Regional Department, as well as the Selangor and federal governments, as respondents.

On July 10, the High Court granted the four residents leave to have the merits of their application – to gain access to the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), Social Impact Assessment (SIA), and Traffic Impact Assessment (TIA) for the PJD Link project – to be heard.

Yesterday, the group also gave the Selangor and federal governments a one-week deadline to comply with their demands regarding the controversial project, failing which, they will proceed with their judicial review application, set for case management in October.

The ‘Say No to PJD Link’ movement said the demands came following an ‘unclear caveat’ given by Amirudin on the project on Monday.

The group demanded that both the federal and Selangor government:

1) Give a firm commitment not to entertain any similar proposed highway project in Petaling Jaya in the future

2) Immediately declassify the concession agreement dated April 5, 2022 as an ‘official secret’ under the Official Secrets Act, and

3) Immediately disclose to the public the EIA, SIA, and TIA reports, and the conditions imposed by the state government to greenlight a highway project in Petaling Jaya.

The group said that the previous Kinrara–Damansara Expressway (Kidex), and the PJD Link saga showed a tendency for developers to repackage and rebrand highways – which are substantially similar – under different names.

“While we recognise that governments cannot categorically reject all infrastructure proposals for Petaling Jaya (and other parts of the Klang Valley), they can give a commitment that any highway proposal, which are similar in terms of alignment with Kidex and PJD Link, ought to be rejected from the outset,” the group added.

The group said that the ‘Say No To PJD Link’ movement was not set up to merely oppose the PJD Link specifically, but  was part of a larger battle to demand greater transparency and accountability in multi-billion-ringgit public infrastructure projects involving private developers.

“Otherwise, other similar harmful mega projects will continue to emerge in other forms, and the people will be forced to mobilise again and again. This cycle of secrecy, opacity, and undisclosed public-private dealings must stop.”

Tagged with: