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Saturday November 24, 2012

BN looks set to retain Setiawangsa parliamentary seat

Go for technology: Zulhasnan believes that portals and online websites are the
best way forward. Go for technology: Zulhasnan believes that portals and online websites are the best way forward.

THE Setiawangsa parliament is considered a safe seat for Barisan Nasional (BN) in the upcoming election. Quietly nestled next to the very busy Wangsa Maju area, Setiawangsa is a suburb of Kuala Lumpur and home to a lot of expatriates as well as the rich urbanites and public housing communities.

The constituency was formed in 2004 after Wangsa Maju was broken into two.

It is made up of Wardieburn Jaya, Taman Sri Rampai, Air Panas Luar, Air Panas Dalam, Taman Setapak Jaya, Section 10 Wangsa Maju, PKNS Batu 6 Ulu Kelang, Pekan Setapak, Jalang Pahang, Taman Tasik, Pulapol, Mindef, Taman Setiawangsa, Kera-mat Wangsa, Taman Setapak Permai, Air Panas Tengah and Section 5/6 Wangsa Maju.

There are many townships in the area with terrace houses, condominiums, apartments, PPRs and homes to police and military bases. Acces-sibility is one of the plus point with the Setiawangsa LRT located nearby the housing areas and the Duta-Ulu Kelang Expressway (DUKE).

Commercialisation has made its mark with malls like AEON Setiawangsa, WangsaWalk, Carre-four and an upcoming commercial project near Wangsa Walk.

At present, the incumbent MP Datuk Seri Zulhasnan Rafique is the sole BN MP in the Federal Territory Kuala Lumpur. The former Federal Territories and Urban Wellbeing Minister is well liked by many including the opposition MPs as he was keen to resolve issues together.

During Zulhasnan’s time as minister, he was seen to meet with the opposition MPs when issues cropped up. Known to be an overall nice guy, Zulhasnan is well liked by his constituents and peers.

In order to have a better management of the constituency, a website mysetiawangsa.net has been set up by Zulhasnan.

The community portal is updated regularly with latest news and events of the happenings in the constituency.

“What we have done in Setia-wangsa is basically by getting the people involved directly while focusing on infrastructures, health, safety and social issues. We need people in their respective areas to move as a unit like a residents’ association, rukun tetangga, committee and non governmental organisations.

“We have grouped them into schools, mosque or RT committees and I am not part of any executive structure. I merely support them in terms of financial or directing the problems to respective government agencies.

“Everything we do is documented on the website, so people are aware of the happenings and each year we publish a bulletin, which is distributed all over the country,” said Zulhasnan, adding the constituency is running smoothly with all the components working together.

One of the issues in Setiawangsa is the community hall in Ayer Panas, which has been delayed for some time. The contractor has been replaced as there are concerns with the hawkers in the area, who are still using makeshift structures to do business.

According to Zulhasnan, they are pushing the project to be completed soon.

There are many candidates both from Barisan and Pakatan Rakyat (PR), who are eyeing the seat. For Barisan the 12,000 of postal votes from Pulapol and Mindef could be an assurance of a win.

There has also been an increase of about 4,000 voters of mainly youths and those who have changed their polling stations after moving to the PPR units.

In the last general election, Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) candidate Ibrahim Yaakob, who is the son of Kuala Lumpur’s second mayor Tan Sri Yaakob Latiff stood against Zulhasnan. However, the presence of the opposition party isn’t felt as strongly there compared to Barisan.

PAS has expressed their interest in contesting there, therefore a swap with PKR could take place.

Zulhasnan is confident that Barisan will retain Setiawangsa as people would be able to recognise the work and commitment by the party as their problems are addressed.

“There are two issues that affect people, one is on the national level and the other is local level. I feel we are well represented,” he said.

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