Red shirts blame Selangor for toll hike as rally comes to an end

AMPANG - The anti-Selangor government red shirt rally organisers have blamed the state government over the hike in toll fares.

Although its leader, Sungai Besar Umno division chief Datuk Jamal Md Yunos admitted that toll concessionaires must adhere to agreements with the Federal Government, the Selangor government was still benefiting from the profits gained.

"They're raking in the profits for their own political gain. Imagine, the state government owns 30 per cent stake in all toll concessionaires in Selangor. What happened to profits they have got all this while?" he asked.

Selangor Mentri Besar Azmin Ali, however, had instructed two state-owned companies Selangor State Development Corporation (PKNS) and Kumpulan Perangsang (KPS) to review the toll hike at Kesas and Lebuhraya Damansara Puchong (LDP) highways.

Earlier, some 200 protesters who were ferried by buses gathered at the Ampang Jaya Umno division on Sunday for the Selamatkan Negeri Selangor dari Kerajaan Cacar Marba red shirt rally.

The event kicked off at 3pm with speeches from party leaders including Jamal, Ampang Umno division chief Datuk Ismail Kijo and Umno youth Exco Arman Azhar Abu Hanifah.

The leaders of the supposed Malay non-governmental organisations claimed that the Selangor government under Azmin had left Malaysia's richest state in "shambles".

Many of those in attendance were mostly youths.

The rally ended incident free after the speakers called for lower toll rates in Selangor, the increase of affordable homes, better waste management and a change of state government leadership.

Other issues touched on by the speakers were the removal of former mentri besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim, the rising cost of living and property in the state, aedes mosquito infestations, potholes on the road and flash floods, as reasons why the state government must be removed.

Former Selangor PAS secretary Norman Toha claimed that DAP had "tricked and fractured" former Pakatan ally PAS, causing infighting that has left Selangor's welfare in a bad state.

"This state has the most potholes on the road. I had to replace my tyres and sports rim twice because I drove into a pothole and damaged my car.

"Imagine if it was our children on motorcycles that hit the potholes, they would be thrown off! This is the government we have in Selangor. They are a mess!" he said, calling on Indians to band with other races to protest against the Selangor government.

Ampang Umno chief Datuk Ismail Kijo criticised Azmin's administration over alleged broken promises to bring down the price of homes in the state.

"Since 2008 until today there are no affordable houses in Ampang Jaya. There are only nice houses to look at that costs RM700,000.

"Didn't they promise to create affordable houses for newly married couples? How will they afford the homes?" he questioned.

Ismail also claimed that flats in his area had faulty lifts that affected residents here. He claimed that complaints from locals here had fallen on deaf ears.

The gathering was initially planned to be held at Spectrum shopping centre but the venue was changed after being denied permission from the police and the Ampang Jaya City Council (MPAJ).

During his closing speech, Jamal called for a march to Spectrum but cancelled his plans after receiving a lukewarm response.

He blamed the low turnout on MPAJ, saying that 10,000 people would have turned up if the event was held in Spectrum.

"The gathering is still a success as we have got our message across, despite the last minute change of venue.

"We would have easily gathered 10,000 people if we were allowed to do this at Spectrum," he said, adding that more rallies were already being planned in the near future.

"We will stage a protest every month, at the end of the month, we will have one in Subang, before going to Gombak," he said.

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