Empowering Communities, Protecting The Environment

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Invitation to the MTES Meeting Chaired by YAB Dato’ Menteri Besar

September 12, 2014
TrEES along with a number of NGOs and Residents Associations* were invited to the Majlis Tindakan Ekonomi Negeri (MTES) chaired by YAB Dato’ Menteri Besar Selangor on 11 September 2014.  This invitation was the result of the petition and the many letters received by the State, objecting to the degazettement of sections of Taman Warisan Selangor and other forest reserves.  A BIG thank you to once again to everyone who signed the petition and helped in the efforts.

During the MTES meeting, TrEES together with the other groups raised a number of pertinent questions and objections to the proposed alignment of the EKVE through the Selangor State Park and other forest reserves.  We would like to thank Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim, the YAB Dato’ Menteri Besar at that time, for inviting all of us to the meeting to hear our views.
 
Issues raised by the NGOs and RA included:
1). Disappointment with the government with regards to public feedback – for example, the Taman Melawati Residents who are from Gombak district were not invited to the public hearing session despite submitting objections. 
2). The lack of information available to the public during these feedback sessions, the DEIA report as well as the notice of degazettement. 
3). Despite objections by the public during every stage of public hearings since 1998, the project keeps moving forward.  While views from the public are sought, it appears from the way the project keeps moving forward that their feedback is not taken into consideration.
4). That the EKVE will not be a long term solution to the traffic problem and could further aggravate the traffic issues at Ukay Perdana and Jalan Ampang.  What other solutions were explored aside from the expressway including buses, MRT and other forms of public transportation?
5). The EKVE will cut through pristine catchment forests that protect class 1 rivers.  Why is the state willing to jeopardize these free services?  Already we spend RM billions to obtain water from Pahang?   Also due the water crisis, the state is gazetting mining pools with questionable water quality.
6). Where is the cost benefit analysis?  Were other costs such as environmental costs, health costs factored in?
7). Neither the State nor the Federal governments are following their own guidelines – including the National Physical Plan and the National Forestry Act.
8). The State government established the Selangor State Park and the Park Steering Committee because of the importance of the area to the state. How could such a major decision be made without even acknowledging the Park and consulting the Steering Committee?

As a result of the points raised, the Menteri Besar instructed the Town & Country Planning Department of Selangor (JPBD) to host a follow up meeting between the government agencies, the concessionaire and the NGOs to discuss in more detail the issues that were brought up during the meeting.  

This is a small but significant step in our efforts to stop the EKVE from cutting through the Park.  TrEES would once again like to thank everyone supporting this effort.  So many of you came forward to help and we truly appreciate it. Your efforts will help our children enjoy a high quality of life with a backyard full of nature’s treasures. 

The MTES meeting was attended by representatives from the State government, local authorities, project concessionaire, project consultants, Malaysian Highway Authority–Lembaga Lebuhraya Malaysia (MHA-LLM) and Lembaga Urus Air Selangor (LUAS). 

*NGOs that attended the meeting included TrEES, Sahabat Alam Malaysia, Malaysian Nature Society, WWF Malaysia, Environmental Protection Society Malaysia and Malaysian Institute of Planners. The resident association present at the meeting was The Taman Melawati Residents Association.
 

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