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Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Water woes hot topic at campaigns

Crowd support: The rain was not a damper to the folk attending the MCA ceramah at Taman Kajang Indah in Kajang.

Crowd support: The rain was not a damper to the folk attending the MCA ceramah at Taman Kajang Indah in Kajang.

KAJANG: It was a perfect Sunday for Kajang folk. It finally rained after almost a month of drought.

Saya banyak senang hati (I am very relie­ved),” said a visibly happy Tan Sri Khalid Ib­ra­him at the start of his address to hundreds of people at a Pakatan Rakyat ceramah in Sg Chua new village here on Sunday night.

The drizzle did not stop them from making a beeline to the basketball court to attend the ceramah featuring the Selangor Mentri Besar.

In his speech, Khalid also touched on the state’s RM405mil water project in Kampung Sungai Darah to supply water to over a million consumers in the Klang Valley.

The project is expected to be completed in July next year, he said, in an apparent move to divert attention from the current water shortage and rationing exercise in the state.

A few kilometres away in Taman Kajang Indah, people carrying umbrellas waited at an open car park for the Barisan Nasional ceramah to start. Many also huddled along the five-foot way of shops flanking the car park.

MCA Youth central committee member Khor Chin Ghee told the audience that Barisan had always kept its promise and that the ceramah would go on as scheduled despite the rain. He also focused on water shortage.

According to him, a woman who was expecting twins had a miscarriage recently after lugging containers of water from a truck to her house for her family’s consumption.

Khor said many elderly folk were forced to do so as well so that their children who were away at work could have water when they returned home in the evening. He blamed the Selangor government for the water shortage and the problems it had created.

He advised Kajang folk to reject Pakatan Rakyat if they do not want to suffer from water shortage anymore.

Barisan’s candidate, MCA vice-president Datin Paduka Chew Mei Fun, is in a straight fight with PKR president Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail for the Kajang state seat this Sunday.

Apart from local problems, the personal attributes of the candidates are also strong talking points during campaigning.

MCA president Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai said the Kajang by-election was orchestrated by PKR leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, who wanted to be Selangor Mentri Besar.

He said Anwar fielded his wife Dr Wan Azizah after his sodomy conviction four days before nomination disqualified him from contesting. He urged voters to give Chew, 50, a chance to make a difference in their lives.

Chew’s strong points are her experience and good track record in serving her constituents during her two-term tenure as Petaling Jaya Utara MP until 2008.

Feedback shows that many Kajang folk harbour hopes of having an assemblyman who can resolve the many local problems faced since the 2008 general election.

The list is long, including roads riddled with pot holes, clogged drains, poor garbage management, traffic congestion, flooding as well as an increase in business licence fees and assessment.

PKR’s Lee Chin Cheh was said to have gone “missing” from the constituency after winning the Kajang seat in the general election on May 5 last year. He resigned in January to pave the way for the by-election.

While Pakatan’s campaign is focused on national issues, Anwar was quick to promote his wife during the ceramah in Sg Chua on Sunday.

“She won a gold medal and it is still listed in the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland,” he said.

Dr Wan Azizah, 62, won a gold medal in obstetrics and gynaecology, and is a qualified ophthalmologist.

Anwar said Dr Wan Azizah had continued to volunteer her services as an eye doctor after he became the Deputy Prime Minister, questioning her detractors who have called her a puppet.

The two candidates certainly have their strong points.

The younger and bubbly Chew is active and energetic, and attended a cycling event earlier on Sunday.

Dr Wan Azizah is soft-spoken and affable. She went on stage to recite poems at a ceramah at Metro Point, admitting to the crowd that she was a bit of nervous because poems is a forte of her husband and not hers.

Into the last lap of campaigning, both sides are seizing any ounce of opportunity to be with the voters – come rain or shine.

Tags / Keywords: Politics , Politics , kajang by election 2014 , MCA


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