Anti-corruption group urges FT Ministry to probe Bangsar-Damansara highway project for irregularities

Danial Dzulkifly
File picture of Federal Territories Minister Khalid Samad. C4 wants the Federal Territories Ministry to look into the process of awarding the contract for the Bangsar-Damansara Elevated Highway following renewed objections from nearby residents and some lawmakers. — Picture by Miera Zulyana

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 21 — The Centre to Combat Corruption and Cronyism (C4) wants the Federal Territories Ministry to look into the process of awarding the contract for the Bangsar-Damansara Elevated Highway following renewed objections from nearby residents and some lawmakers.

The anti-graft group also raised the possibility that construction of the highway was awarded solely to benefit a private development project located nearby.

C4 pointed out that little is publicly known about the due processes undertaken by Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) in approving the highway project despite intense public objections in the run-up.

“To-date, the project is shrouded in secrecy. The local residents, as well as their elected MPs, are dumbfounded on the willingness of DBKL to absorb the bulk of the construction costs of a highway which they believe is intended to benefit a private developer’s ultra-luxury development project at Damansara Heights,” C4 said in a statement today.

The agreement for the highway project was signed in 2017 under the Barisan Nasional (BN) administration when then Umno secretary-general Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor was FT minister, serving from May 2013 to May 2018.

The project is back in the spotlight following the corruption prosecution of several former senior ranking figures of authority and several developers suspected of collusion.

Tengku Adnan is now on trial for corruption after being accused of receiving bribes from certain developers for projects in KL.

Another advocate for the highway project who was formerly DBKL deputy director of civil engineering and urban transportation, Sabudin Mohd Salleh, has also been charged with receiving bribes in three separate courts.

C4 wants the FT Ministry, now under Shah Alam MP Khalid Samad, to explain the extent of Tengku Adnan’s role regarding this particular highway project.

“Has any internal investigations been carried out by the FT Ministry on this highly suspicious highway project which took place during the tenure of Tengku Adnan and Sabudin?” it asked.

FT Minister Khalid Abdul Samad has explained that the Pakatan Harapan administration cannot roll back the highway project due to the heavy legal implications.

Two PH MPs, Hannah Yeoh (Segambut) and Fahmi Fadzil (Lembah Pantai) have also lent their support to residents opposing the project.

Both MPs have called for the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission to speed up its investigation into alleged malpractices in the highway project, valued at RM211.5 million.

Fahmi and Yeoh, who is also deputy women, family and community development minister, filed a complaint with MACC five months ago, but claim there has been little progress since.

Both MPs also claimed that DBKL will be partially funding the project by paying RM100 million while Impian Ekspresi Sdn Bhd pays RM115 million.

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