- While the termination of the controversial Petaling Jaya Dispersal (PJD) Link was welcomed by many Petaling Jaya residents and non-governmental organisations who have been calling for the project to be scrapped due to environmental and social concerns, Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu), one of the main component parties of Perikatan Nasional (PN), has questioned the right of the caretaker Selangor government led by Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Amirudin Shari in making such an impactful decision ahead of the polls.
KUALA LUMPUR (Aug 4): The termination of the controversial Petaling Jaya Dispersal (PJD) Link project by the Selangor state government, with less than two weeks before the state polls on Aug 12, is perhaps an indication of just how much is at stake for the Pakatan Harapan-led (PH) government that is trying to keep the state under its administration.
While the move was welcomed by many Petaling Jaya residents and non-governmental organisations who have been calling for the project to be scrapped due to environmental and social concerns, Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu), one of the main component parties of Perikatan Nasional (PN), has questioned the right of the caretaker Selangor government led by Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Amirudin Shari in making such an impactful decision ahead of the polls.
Bersatu also slammed Amirudin for saying that the PJD Link project might be revived if it complied with requirements set by the state government. The party, however, did not state its stance on the project, which was approved under the PN-Barisan Nasional (BN) government in April 2022.
Should the project materialise, it would cut through four constituencies within the state — N30 Kinrara, N33 Taman Medan, N34 Bukit Gasing and N36 Bandar Utama — that is home to over 300,000 voters. The four constituencies are located within three Parliamentary seats, namely P105 Petaling Jaya, P104 Subang and P106 Damansara.
With 313,017 voters representing roughly 8.3% of 3.75 million Selangor voters, the four state seats will see the PH-BN unity government, PN and the Malaysian United Democratic Alliance (Muda) vying for votes in the coming days. While Kinrara and Taman Medan will be a straight fight between PH-BN and PN, Bukit Gasing and Bandar Utama will be three-cornered fights as Muda has fielded candidates there.
All four state seats were dominated by PH in the last state election in 2018, with Bandar Utama recording the highest winning margin among the four, at 81.4%, after PH-DAP candidate Jamaliah Jamaluddin secured 90.5% of the votes cast, defeating the BN candidate. This time, Jamaliah will be defending her seat against Muda’s Lim Hooi Sean and PN-Gerakan's Nur Aliff Mohd Taufid.
In Bukit Gasing, Ranjiv Rishyakaran (PH-DAP) is up against Nallan Dhanabalan (PN-Gerakan) and Kalyana Rajasekaran Teagarajan (Muda). Ranjiv won the seat in 2018 after securing 29,366 votes or 86.9% of the total, with a winning margin of 76.5%.
Over in Kinrara, the incumbent Ng Sze Hen (PH-DAP) will be taking on Wong Yong Kan (PN-Bersatu). Ng took the seat in 2018 with 52,207 votes polled, or 83% of the total, with a winning margin of 71.8%.
For Taman Medan, PH-PKR has nominated Ahmad Akhir Pawan Chik as its candidate, replacing Syamsul Firdaus, who secured 21,712 votes or 57.8% of the total votes in the predominantly Malay area to win the seat in 2018 with a margin of 29.1%. Ahmad Akhir will contest against PN-Bersatu candidate Afif Bahardin.
PJD Link is also in close proximity to N35 Kampung Tunku, which has 58,357 voters — 15.7% of which are Malay voters.
Amirudin said his administration cancelled the project as it was not satisfied with the impact assessment reports submitted by the concessionaire, PJD Link (M) Sdn Bhd, and because it did not meet certain conditions set by the state government, particularly the social impact assessment reports.
RTO of Scomi Energy cancelled
The proposed PJD Link is a 25.4km elevated highway with two-lane dual carriageway (four lanes).
Aimed at dispersing traffic congestion in Petaling Jaya by providing major connection with existing roads and highways, the project was first approved in principle by the Cabinet during BN's administration in November 2017, before the state government then approved it in principle in September 2020 — subject to satisfactory impact assessments done.
The highway, which was to be 100% privately funded, was to start after the North Klang Valley Expressway (NKVE) toll plaza on the SPRINT Highway, Damansara and end at the Bukit Jalil highway interchange.
With the project in the pipeline then, the concessionaire PJD Link (M) Sdn Bhd announced in October 2022 that it was seeking a listing on Bursa Malaysia via the reverse takeover (RTO) of Practice Note 17 (PN17) company, Scomi Energy Services Bhd, whose share surged following the announcement.
The RTO was to be part of the regularisation plan that would lift Scomi Energy from its PN17 status. In June this year, the concessionaire also said it had secured RM922 million in funding from MCC Overseas (M) Sdn Bhd — a subsidiary of China Metallurgical Group Corp — as part of its project financing for the project.
But Scomi Energy suddenly announced on July 17 that the framework agreement it inked with the concessionaire for the RTO had been "mutually terminated with immediate effect", but did not elaborate.
The concessionaire is a private construction company with Amrish Hari Narayanan as its chief executive officer. He was previously involved in the now-defunct RM2.42 billion Kinrara Damansara Expressway (Kidex), which was rejected by the then Pakatan Rakyat-led Selangor government in 2015 due to its failure to submit traffic, social and environmental impact assessments within the stipulated deadline.
Scomi Energy's shares had been suspended since July 24 as it had failed to submit its regularisation plan to Bursa Securities on time and could not secure another extension of time to do so. Delisting was possible on July 26, but it had submitted an appeal to the regulator to prevent that. Scomi Energy's shares were last traded at half a sen apiece, giving it a market capitalisation of RM2.34 million.
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