KUALA LUMPUR – June 19, 2017: First the controversy surrounding a residential development next to a public park, which is ongoing, and now a plan for a six-lane highway to replace a main road in Taman Tun Dr. Ismail.
No wonder those who live there are aghast and object in no uncertain terms.
The road in question is Jalan Datuk Sulaiman, one of the longest if not the longest in the neighbourhood, that connects the area around the wet market and the one on the other end, near the police station and Kiara Park condominium.
What makes it all the more difficult for the residents to welcome the plan is that they are made to understand the new road is linked to the controversial residential development near the park, most likely in anticipation of the increase in population density from the many apartments to be built.
Jalan Datuk Sulaiman also passes by the At-Taqwa Mosque and because of this, former bank executive Kamalul Anuar considers the road plan as simply absurd.
“There is no more space to expand the road and it just doesn’t make any sense to do so given how close the mosque is to the road. If it does happen it’s going to be really dangerous for mosque-goers.
“This isn’t the first time I have heard of such a plan. A few years back the people also made noise when the road was going to be converted into a tolled road,” recalled Kamalul who has been living in TTDI since 1976.
Journalist/blogger Datuk Nuraina Samad, also a resident, considers the plan to be totally unnecessary because is not something the residents need.
“They want to build this highway because they are building something else. Jalan Datuk Sulaiman has got beautiful canopy of trees that are probably as old as TTDI itself… this highway is going to destroy that,” said Nuraina.
She also countered a claim that the highway will add value to TTDI.
“It’s pure rubbish. What kind of value could we gain from a six-lane highway right smack inside our neighbourhood?
“The highway will slowly drive the residents away from TTDI because they are unhappy with the place they’re living in… are they going to turn TTDI into a huge commercial area?” she asked.
However, there are those who argued that a wider road will benefit businesses.
“If there is a highway then there’s going to be a lot of to and fro traffic, so it’s going a good thing for our shop,” said a supervisor of a boutique, Sofiah Zakaria.
“TTDI is an exclusive neighbourhood. If it were to be more exposed then I think it’s going to boost our sales but we also need some space for our customers to leisurely drop by,” she added.