Updates: Nov 21, 4pm - Just an advertising gantry, not arch
More information has surfaced over the controversial Rebana Ubi Arch to be built along the Federal Highway. The Star has quoted the Datuk Bandar as saying that the arch was part of a campaign to promote Islam Hadhari and that approval was given in August. The company putting up the arch is Libroff Media Shd Bhd.
Following protests by residents in the area, which had their water supplies disrupted, because of preliminary groundworks, the contractor has been asked to put a stop to the works. The Malay Mail has revealed further that the arch is part of a trade off between the government and the media owner.
It reported that the media owner will bear the cost of constructing and maintaining not one but 14 arches, costing RM1mil each, at selected highways for a 15 year concession and a five year waiver of advertising licensing fees, following an agreement signed with the government. So, it boils down to money. The government would also have access to each of these sites for advertisement.
So, taxpayers money would not be used but I think Malaysians, especially Klang Valley folks, would want to know how the structures would look like.There are already too many billboards along the highway and the last thing they want is an arch that promotes more products under the guise of promoting Islamic Hadhari.
The trouble with the authorities involved is that they did not bother to inform the public and media of their plans. They think they can put up anything they want and when a protest crops up, they buy time by seeking a review to calm down temperature. But in the end, they just go ahead without giving two hoots about how the public feels. The public, as road users and tax payers, surely have a right to know how the arches would look and where the remaining 13 would be put up. It's not anybody's grandfather's road, you know.