KUALA LUMPUR (Feb 17): The developer of the Kinrara-Damansara Expressway (Kidex) is consulting Putrajaya on its next course of action after the Selangor government cancelled the RM2.42 billion project yesterday.
The move highlights the complexity of the situation where the Federal and state governments are in disagreement over the controversial highway.
Kidex Sdn Bhd chief operating officer Datuk Mohd Nor Idrus said they would issue an official statement to respond to Selangor’s decision after getting Putrajaya’s feedback.
“We will have to consult the Federal government first about this,” Nor said, in a brief response to The Malaysian Insider after being told of Selangor’s announcement.
Although Selangor has cancelled the project there is still the question as to whether it can still proceed given that Kidex – a concession company owned by Umno-linked persons – still has approval from Putrajaya.
It was previously reported that approvals for highway projects must come from both the Federal and state government.
With Kidex, the developer received approval from Putrajaya when it signed the concession agreement (CA) in November 2013. The company has since gotten an extension to its CA until November 2015.
Selangor Menteri Besar Mohamed Azmin Ali announced yesterday that the project had been cancelled after the developer failed to fulfill conditions set by the state government by a February 14 deadline.
The cancellation comes two days after the developer received an extension to its concession agreement with the Federal government to build and collect toll from the highway.
In a telephone interview with The Malaysian Insider, Nor had said that the company was working hard to meet Selangor’s conditions but that it needed approval from federal agencies to release certain documents.
This included approvals to release details of the concession agreement and the toll rates it would be collecting on the highway as demanded by Selangor.
“It is not purely our call whether to release these documents. We are a concessionaire company.
“We need to get approval from the highway authority and the Federal government,” he told The Malaysian Insider.
The company is owned by the wife of former Chief Justice Tun Zaki Azmi and Umno lawyer Datuk Hafarizam Harun.
One of the pre-conditions Selangor had set to consider the project was that Kidex Sdn Bhd 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 the Pakatan Rakyat government's thrust on transparency and accountability.
Selangor also wanted 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 14.9km Kidex was supposed to connect Kinrara in the southern part of the Klang Valley to Bandar Utama in the north, bypassing 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.
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.