Thursday, August 31, 2006

Central Thursday August 31, 2006

Taking their woes ‘to parliament’
By YIP YOKE TENG
teng@thestar.com.my

After nine weeks of peaceful demonstrations to oppose the closure of a toll-free access road, Bandar Mahkota Cheras residents brought their predicament to the attention of Opposition leader Lim Kit Siang at the Parliament House on Tuesday.

The 32-strong group also took the opportunity to submit a memorandum to the Works Ministry, which was received by Works Minister Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu’s political secretary.
In the meeting, the residents lamented that they have to travel an extra 6.5km to get to the Cheras-Kajang Highway, sharing a usually congested access road with Bandar Sungai Long residents.

They also protest at having to pay a 60 sen toll at Cheras 11th Mile to head to town.

Bandar Mahkota Cheras Free Access Road committee chairman Tan Boon Wah updating residents on the matter at a recent protest.They said the developer had promised them the toll-free access road at point of purchase.

Therefore, even though the concessionaire for the Cheras-Kajang Highway, Grand Saga Sdn Bhd, has built concrete barriers on the completed road to prevent traffic leakage, Bandar Mahkota’s developer should keep its word and fight for residents with its financial ability.

Also present at the meeting with Lim were five DAP MPs, namely Tan Kok Wai (Cheras), Fong Kui Lun (Bukit Bintang), Teresa Kok (Seputeh), Chong Eng (Bukit Mertajam) and Fong Po Kuan (Batu Gajah), as well as Bandar Mahkota Cheras Free Access Road advisor Ronnie Liu.

Lim said he would personally discuss the issue with Samy Vellu, and would bring it up in parliament especially when the debate on the 2007 Budget began next week.

“This matter reflects the government’s attitude of siding privatised companies such as road concessionaires, while turning a deaf ear to the people’s cries, unless if there’s enormous pressure,” Lim said.

He commended the determination shown by residents, “even in a situation where the MP and assemblyman of your area do not help you much on the matter”.

Tan commented that the matter reflected the nucleus of problems resulting from government’s privatisation moves.

“We see no transparency. We have no access to the documents that are always said to be private and confidential. Moreover, these privatised companies are always protected.”

“I have learned that the developer obtained approval to build the road in 1994 while the concessionaire was granted the right to collect toll at the highway in 1995.

“Grand Saga started collecting toll on the highway on Jan 1, 1999, and until June 30 this year, the collection has already amounted to RM253mil.

“The concessionaire will be able to cover its costs even before June next year. It is granted right to collect toll until 2027, and permitted to revise toll rates next year, the profit it makes is too substantial to imagine,” Tan added.

Liu said Grand Saga did not have legal ground to barricade the access road, as the area belonged to the developer.

“Every time we stage a protest, more than 50 police personnel will be manning the area. On several occasions they even issued compounds to motorists who parked their cars there. This is unfair,” he said.

Bandar Mahkota Cheras residents have been staging peaceful protests every Sunday.

At the last demonstration, Liu related an unofficial meeting with Samy Vellu. “Datuk Seri said the government approved the road on the ground that Bandar Mahkota Cheras developer has to compensate Grand Saga for their loss, which is estimated to be RM442mil in total in 27 years. But the developer has refused to do so. Now it is up to us to settle the matter, we need to voice up,” he said to a round of applause.

He also told the crowd that Grand Saga had responded to the matter in a press statement published in China Press the day before, that they have the right to prevent leakage of traffic.

The MPs expressed their approval on the residents’ firm stand, and urged them to continue voicing their discontentment through gathering more like-minded persons until their will was fulfilled.

Developer Narajaya Sdn Bhd’s spokesperson said the company had fulfilled its obligation by completing the said access road in compliance with conditions required under the approval.

She added that the company has had several meetings with residents, relevant authorities and the concessionaire, and would continue seeking ways to resolve the matter.

Grand Saga executive director Zainal Abidin Ali, when contacted, said the concessionaire had referred the matter to the Malaysian Highway Authority and was in no position to comment any further.


Source:Metro - The Star 31 Aug 2006

4 Comments:

Blogger Lau Weng San said...

Welcome to blogosphere!!

Write more and blog more to contribute to freedom of information and freedom of expression in our motherland!!

7:25 PM  
Blogger : said...

The governement should tell the people who is the owner of Grand Saga, and why they have the power to block the main access road of an 1600 acres township.

A search done by residents association with Suruhanjaya Syarikat Malaysia review the major share holder of Grand Saga is L.G.B. Holdings Sdn Bhd, a company own mainly by individual.

(Document obtained from SSM can be seen in http://insidesglong.blogspot.com/ )

L.G.B. Holdings Sdn Bhd made a profit of more than RM57 million last year.

We wonder why such a profitable concessionaire, with guarantee of traffic from the old Jalan Cheras, own not by government institution like EPF, Khazanah, PNB, Tabung Haji, Mara or state government.

Why the government awarded this lucrative deal to individual? Why a private company has the authority to infringe the right of 60000 residents? And why the government if not protect their interest, not taking action on them for closing the road that affecting the life of 60000 people?

There are too many question to be answered!

10:00 AM  
Blogger Ah said...

Let's look at this barricade issue as a simple means of access for BMC folks to & from Kl City Centre. In addition, let's look at tolled highways being the (faster) alternative to available non-tolled roads.

Based on the above, Grand Saga has no right to block premised on the fact that Grand Saga has taken over the the old Cheras-Kajang & good for BMC folks that their nearest access to the Grand Saga highway has no toll. However,
Grand Saga has the right to block if we view that BMC was developed premised on KL-Seremban as the main access route to KL City Centre.
The developer cannot be blameless in all of this, after all there are claims that they had claimed "only1.5 km to city centre" i.e. thru' Grand Saga highway.
From what I know, based on PLUS highway-linked townships, the developer would have to foot the bill of building an interchange onto the highway (of course together with toll booth). Even then I'm not sure whether can compare because PLUS highway is the 'closed system' type unlike Grand Saga highway.
Let's see what committee Bodowi would set-up to look into this matter because the best way is to point the finger at the federal govt that this is their jurisdiction to solve.

1:49 AM  
Blogger cheekeong said...

This polis are useless bums. In fact I saw them bullying chinese and indians for no reasons. I also took some pics of polis asking for bribes in massage parlours which I frequent. They just went to the SPA and ask football money from the SPA massage owner. So useless is the polis. They are good in getting bribes but ask them to just catch a killer or rapist, or just keep the neighbourhood from crimes then they are more useless then a baby sitter. I took some pics from my hphone camera of polis accepting bribes in massage parlours in cheras and sungai long and will be posting it on the web soon. Any of you interest in download the pics please contact me at 012-369 1850

1:50 AM  

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