Media Statement: Video on Desaria Metal Bridge Discussion

Recently a video of a discussion regarding the Desaria Metal Bridge was published on the Internet. The bridge spans Sungai Penchala and serves as a shortcut which links the Desaria Phase 1 and Desaria Phase 2 Flats. A temple is located near the Phase 2 Flats and some Phase 1 residents use the bridge to go to the temple and other parts of Phase 1. The bridge was originally a temporary structure built during the construction of the New Pantai Expressway (NPE) over ten years ago.

The discussion, which took place a few years ago in my old office in SS6 Kelana Jaya, was chaired by me and attended by various parties. While the discussion did take place and the fact is that the video was surreptitiously recorded as well as maliciously edited in a way that was entirely out of context. It seeks to portray me in an unfavourable light that is different from my true self.

For the record, the NPE had raised the issue of the safety of the bridge with me after I was elected Seri Setia State Assemblyman in 2008. After discussions with the local community and other stakeholders, I however recommended delaying the demolition of the bridge to take into account the fact that several very important festivals were about to take place in the temple.

I subsequently engaged in a series of discussions that took quite some time with the local community and other stakeholders to find a solution that balanced both the need to ensure the immediate safety of the residents as well as to provide them the means to cross Sungai Penchala.

The video is in fact a record of one of those discussions. The relocation of the temple had also been agreed by all the stakeholders and I visited the temple a few times, including with the Hindu Sangam.

While the edited video depicts a heated and lively discussion taking place, it still clearly shows that I highlighted that the paramount priority must be the safety of residents. I take this responsibility very seriously.

Finally, the issue was brought to a formal meeting of the MBPJ attended by among others, the Deputy Mayor Puasa Md Taib, Director of Engineering Cheremi Tarman, MP for Kelana Jaya YB Gwo Burne Loh and MBPJ Councillor Halimey Abu Bakar. Other stakeholders including the NPE and the developers of the surrounding areas such as Masteron and PJCC were also in attendance.

The decision was finally reached where the developers agreed to build a replacement bridge as part of the conditions for their development being approved. At the same time, Jalan PJS 2 would be upgraded. The existing metal bridge would be allowed to remain pending these works being completed. All parties in attendance agreed to the decision, including myself.

It is regrettable that the replacement bridge has yet to be built. I therefore am determined to work with the relevant parties to get the replacement bridge built as quickly as possible for the benefit of the local community and I welcome any feedback on this issue.

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