Jalan Sultan merchants to send memo, explore alternative MRT route

MCA president Chua Soi Lek today advised the 31 Jalan Sultan merchants whose shops were in an acquisition list for the Klang Valley MRT project to form a 3-member committee to meet with Public Land Transport Commission (SPAD).

He also asked the merchants to issue a collective memorandum to SPAD, pertaining to their requests on shifting the alignment, or to be given fair compensation and adequate time to shift.

“If these people are forced to relocate (during the construction period), they should be given priority to come back once (MRT authorities) rebuild (the buildings),” he said.

Chua was meeting with representatives of Jalan Sultan merchants at MCA headquarter today after the latter cried foul of receiving a Form E from Prasarana informing them the acquisition of their century-old shops for an underground MRT station and its alignment.

Prasarana conducted a briefing last Thursday, in which they said the acquisition was for safety concerns and merchants should furnish property valuation for compensations.

The merchants were given until yesterday to submit their reports.

Chua said he is against the idea of using Land Acquisition Act to acquire the shops near Petaling Street since the current technology should be enough to avoid safety threats.

However, he also noted that the country has no experience in underground train and alignment, except the MRT project delivery partner MMC-Gamuda which did a similar project in Taiwan before.

He said he has raised the issue to SPAD CEO Mohd Nor Ismal Kamal yesterday and the latter agree to do a review.

Meanwhile, the merchants’ representatives agreed to form a committee to safeguard their interest, but noted that the deadline for their property valuation is too soon.