I AM writing on behalf of the Coalition of Residents Associations of Petaling Jaya (Apac) to voice our concerns and objections to the proposed “PJ Sentral” development in Section 52 of Petaling Jaya.
On its own, this is a massive development of eight tower blocks of up to 27 floors each, and that’s just Phase 1 of the proposed redevelopment of Section 52. Our concerns and objections are based on our expert analysis of the development’s impact on the local community. Essentially, the impact would include massive increase in traffic congestion, noise pollution, vehicle fumes, and the imposition of road construction, widening and extensions through and adjacent to established residential communities in PJ.
The developer’s own traffic experts admit that that the car parking attached to this development would be inadequate to cope with the development’s total demand. Based upon the developer’s own numbers, our experts calculate the shortfall in car parking to be about 6,000 vehicles. These vehicles would then need to find parking on already congested streets in and around the PJ New Town area and adjacent neighbourhoods. Just imagine the chaotic consequences.
PJ residents have for some time been looking forward to the modernisation of the PJ New Town and Old Town areas encompassing Section 52. We envisioned a community-centred development which would enhance PJ stakeholders’ quality of life. Instead, we got a multi-billion dollar project which would displace rather than serve the local community. The project would, however, in our estimate, make hundreds of millions of ringgit in profit for the developers and their stakeholders.
Their application also shows that PJ ratepayers may have to bear the burden of more than RM92 million in infrastructure works to justify their application or proposal.
Despite recent comments in the media, neither PJ Mayor Datuk Mohamad Roslan Sakiman, the PJ City Council (MBPJ), nor the developer has engaged with or discussed these plans with the local community and residents associations until a hearing last week under Local Agenda 21.
For the record, we confirm that Apac opposes this development proposal. We welcome the opportunity to engage with and work out a solution which would serve the community’s interests. But, to date, the developer has refused to make any changes to its proposal application.
We trust that the MBPJ and the mayor are aware of our concerns and objections and that they will make every effort to ensure that the community’s needs and wishes are fully taken into account. We also hope that MBPJ will reconsider the developer’s application carefully, given its flaws as pointed out by our experts and the Traffic Impact Assessment.
We hope that the developer, in the spirit of compromise and respect, will withdraw its current development proposal, and resubmit one that reflects our concerns and objections. From a procedural point of view, unless the developer withdraws its application, it cannot accommodate our input and concerns. Hence, withdrawing would be a prerequisite to any meaningful discussion between the Petaling Jaya community and the developer.
Johan Tung Abdullah