Thank you banner by SJ Buddhist Association, Kuil Sri Varatharajah Perumal and SJ Sikh Association
My speech at the opening ceremony of the pedestrian bridge built by JKR Selangor connecting SS13 and SS14 at Persiaran Kewajipan:
Today we are here to witness the official opening of a pedestrian bridge. But this is not just another pedestrian bridge. To the people of Subang Jaya and the devotees of the Subang Jaya Buddhist Association, Sri Varatharajah Perumal Hindu Temple and the upcoming Persatuan Sikh Subang, this is a dream come true. You need to know why.
Back in February 2008, during the campaign period for the last General Elections, a press announcement was made by the former state assemblyman, BN’s Dato’ Lee Hwa Beng who was then a candidate for the Kelana Jaya parliamentary seat, together with Mdm Ong Chong Swen, the then BN candidate for the Subang Jaya state seat. They announced to the public that this pedestrian bridge would be built by Ahmad Zaki Resources Bhd, the contractor of the Subang-Kelana Link project, this 10-lane elevated highway project by the federal government costing RM315 million that connects Persiaran Kewajipan with Jalan Lapangan Terbang Subang.
After the General Elections in 2008, when both Dato’ Lee Hwa Beng and Mdm Ong Chong Swen lost, I as the newly elected state assemblyman for Subang Jaya began to follow-up with the Works Ministry and the Public Works Department on the status of this bridge. We were then notified that this pedestrian bridge will not be built. The only explanation I received was from Dato’ Lee Hwa Beng who informed me then that this pedestrian bridge was a personal promise by Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu (the former Works Minister) and because Samy Vellu lost and Dato’ Lee also lost in the General Elections, the bridge will not be built.
I then turned to our own Selangor state government for assistance even though this project is not within the jurisdiction of the state government. After 4 years of waiting on the promise made by BN and more than 1600 signatures collected in a petition, in May 2012, Menteri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim used state allocation to finance the building of this pedestrian bridge and came here during Wesak Day last year to officiate at the ground-breaking ceremony. With an open tender, this bridge costs the state government RM1.35 million. Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim saw the importance of this pedestrian bridge for the safety of the residents and devotees and therefore set aside money from the limited state budget to finance the construction of this bridge.
This bridge will serve as a tangible reminder to Subang Jaya residents that BN’s slogan of “Janji Ditepati” is hogwash. A simple project, a pedestrian bridge, yet it was not fulfilled. BN made this promise, but Pakatan Rakyat fulfilled it and made it a reality. We didn’t have to build it as this is a federal project and it wasn’t a promise which we made. But we did it anyway because it is our duty as a responsible state government. Duty above promises, above slogans. We do not have fancy slogans such as “People First, Performance Now”, but you judge for yourself, who is really placing the people first, and performing now for you?
We are approaching the next General Elections soon. The same BN politicians will go around town promising many things, bridges, roads, money, peace, progress, stability, everything and more under the sun. Just remember that if you can’t even fulfill a simple thing as a pedestrian bridge, how can we trust the nation to you? I believe that the people of Subang Jaya will judge us on our actions. Thank you Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim for managing this state so well that Selangor is able to step in when the federal government fails in its basic duty to care for the well-being of the people. On behalf of all devotees here, Buddhists, Hindus, Sikhs, and people of all faiths in Subang Jaya, I thank you for doing the right thing even when you didn’t have to. The people can now cross this busy highway safely. It is saving lives every day. Thank you.
This photo courtesy of SJ Echo