MIRI: The rakyat expect immediate attention and wise solutions to urgent issues affecting their daily lives. And local politicians are at the frontline facing the demands of these citizens.
These local politicians, whether they are from the government ruling party or the opposition side, are expected to be aware of every important issue that affects their constituents.
They must be prepared to come up with solutions promptly.
Community members are now more verbal, critical and demanding than before.
Constituents expect the highest standard of service from their representatives.
The expectations from the people have surged.
They demand priority attention from those in political office to everyday problems.
Local politicians need to equip themselves to face these increasing demands.
Nowadays, the rakyat make themselves heard via social media and local politicians need to react fast and deal with the issues that arise.
Local political representatives have to set a timeframe to solve the problems affecting people such as housing woes, floods, traffic congestion and pollution.
Their responsibility is heavier now because the rakyat have become more knowledge-able.
The people demand high quality of life so those who are serving as politicians and those aspiring to be one need to make sure they know their stuff well.
One of the most pressing issues in Miri is the mushrooming squatter problem.
The state government targets zero squatters by 2020 and that means adequate affordable housing is a must if the issue is to be resolved.
In Miri, the issue is getting from bad to worse every year.
There are more of them than before, including fake squatters who are simply building shacks on vacant government land.
There are also thousands of genuinely poor families who cannot afford to buy houses in Miri because of the lack of affordable houses.
The cheapest house in Miri costs about RM300,000.
Since the Pujut by-election is coming up soon and politicians from the various political parties are already on their pre-election rounds, it will be good for them to tell us ordinary folks how they want to deal with this squatter issue and all the other pressing issues in Miri.
I, for one, am not interested in more political philosophies.