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Tuesday April 30, 2013

GE13: Barisan candidates ready to solve neighbourhood problems

Newcomers: Nadzim (left) and Baderisham want to offer better services to the
constituents of Bukit Antarabangsa and Lembah Jaya, respectively. Newcomers: Nadzim (left) and Baderisham want to offer better services to the constituents of Bukit Antarabangsa and Lembah Jaya, respectively.

MOHAMAD Nadzim Ibrahim may be a soft-spoken political newcomer but he is determined to wrest the Bukit Antarabangsa state seat from PKR incumbent stalwart Mohamed Azmin Ali in GE13.

The 42-year-old lawyer, who is also Ampang Umno division committee member and Ampang Jaya Umno branch chief, said he would do this by offering better service to the constituents.

When asked to describe himself, Nadzim, who was part of the defence counsel in the Canny Ong murder case in 2004, said he was a service-oriented person.

“I like to prove myself through hard work and not just pay lip service,” he added.

He said he had always been interested in politics and that he became more active during his university days.

“I was very active in varsity associations and very involved in community programmes. I absolutely loved it,” he said.

The Malacca-born father of five, who has been living in Ampang Jaya for 38 years, said he had been actively involved in politics since 1998.

In his first week of campaigning, Nadzim went down to the grassroots and met constituents from all walks of life to talk to them and listen to their problems.

The main issues that voters in Bukit Antarabangsa highlighted were crime such as snatch thefts and break-ins as well as the recent water disruptions in Kampung Melayu and Taman Dagang.

“I told them I will do my best to help them. I do not want to point fingers at Pakatan but some places went without water supply for a week. They had to wait for supply from lorries that came after midnight. Pakatan’s five years are up and it’s time for Barisan to show we can do better.”

Some of the plans that Nadzim has for the people in his constituency include setting up more public complaint bureaus and one-stop centres that will house the Immigration, Customs and Registration departments, a sports complex as well as legal aid centres.

“For example, voters in Lembah Jaya, who are from the lower-income group, cannot afford legal fees. Young mothers who are single or abandoned also need guidance.

“I want to help them and create awareness that there is an avenue for them to seek help,” he added.

Nadzim received his secondary education at St John’s Institution and later obtained his LLB (Hons) from the International Islamic University.

He then continued his education at Universiti Teknologi Mara where he received a diploma in Syariah Legal Practice.

On Pakatan’s plan to abolish the National Higher Education Fund Corporation (PTPTN), Nadzim said it was not a realistic plan.

“We need to restudy the PTPTN mechanism so that it will not burden the young borrowers. Having an interest-free payment scheme or a one-off management fee would be more practical.”

When he has time for his family, which is usually on Sundays, Nadzim’s favourite place to go for a meal is Murni Restaurant in Ampang Jaya, where he enjoys nasi padang and rendang.

“I am not fussy so I eat almost everything.”

He said his family had been very supportive of his political debut.

“My wife is very understanding and my children are used to not seeing me often during the week.

“However, I make an effort to spend as much quality time with them as possible.”

For Datuk Baderisham Jolly, the other Barisan candidate contesting in Lembah Jaya against incumbent Khasim Abdul Aziz from PAS, his day of campaigning starts at the crack of dawn and does not end until well past midnight.

He starts the day with subuh prayers and meets some of the constituents for breakfast.

Over the last week, Baderisham has met people at the health clinic, wet markets and night markets.

His afternoons and evenings are mostly spent conducting ceramah and visiting the villages to get feedback.

“I am a local boy and the people know this. They understand that I am instrumental in protecting our backyard,” said the father of four after meeting his constituents at the night market in Taman Ampang Indah.

Some of the problems highlighted by his voters included flash floods, broken drains and faulty lifts as well as lack of parking at the low-cost flats.

“In the Barisan manifesto, we have an allocation for maintenance of low-cost flats and installing CCTVs at crime-prone areas in Lembah Jaya.

“We are currently working with the police to do this,” he said.

Baderisham, who is also Lembah Jaya Selatan Umno branch chief, said he would also look into setting up more residents associations.

While Lembah Jaya might have been a PAS stronghold, he said more people were receptive towards Barisan now.

“I am not being over-confident but our focus is to play an important role as a representative for the people and this is how we will regain the constituency.”

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