KUALA LUMPUR: The cabinet has decided that the disputed Bandar Mahkota Cheras toll-free access road to the Cheras-Kajang Highway would remain open until the issue is settled in court.
Speaking after visiting the access road, Works Minister Datuk Mohd Zin Mohamed announced that at its meeting yesterday, the cabinet decided to allow residents to continue using the road and disallow the barriers to be rebuilt.
"This road is officially open. I hope that from now on there will be no more protests and the residents can go on with their lives in a peaceful manner," Mohd Zin said to cheers from a crowd that had gathered to hear the good news.
The Bandar Mahkota Cheras issue has its roots in the ongoing right-of-way tussle between Cheras-Kajang Highway concessionaire Grand Saga Sdn Bhd and Bandar Mahkota Cheras developer Narajaya Sdn Bhd.
The dispute is now before the court.
It is learnt that Narajaya, when advertising the Bandar Makhota Cheras housing project, had promised a toll-free access to the Cheras-Kajang Highway.
However, Grand Saga felt that such an access went against their contract with the federal government. The highway concessionaire built concrete barriers to prevent residents from using the toll- free alternative route.
The residents responded by tearing down the barriers in 2006, with a bigger barrier built every time the residents tore down one.
The boiling point occurred on Tuesday night when 15 unidentified men, alleged to be thugs employed by the highway's contractors, assaulted the residents with sticks and helmets when they attempted to push down one concrete slab from the new six-feet-high barrier.
Although Grand Saga denied the allegations, the matter attracted enough heat to be brought up in Parliament on Thursday by Serdang MP Teo Nie Ching who wanted the matter debated. The Chair however rejected her request.
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