THE Pandan constituency has the unique position of being a stone’s throw from Kuala Lumpur while retaining the charms of a quaint township.
It comprises the state seats of Teratai and Pandan Indah (formerly known as Chempaka).
The Pandan parliamentary seat borders the Ampang, Cheras, Titiwangsa and Hulu Langat constituencies.
Pandan Indah is the Ampang Jaya municipal capital.
This particular central township is self-sufficient as the public have easy access to Ampang Jaya Municipal Council (MPAJ), Inland Revenue Board, Fire and Rescue Department, Pandan Indah police station, Ampang Hospital and Pantai Indah Medical Centre.
The area is a much sought-after residential location now compared to the 1990s.
The completion of the Middle Ring Road 2 (MRR2), Ampang–Kuala Lumpur Elevated Highway (Akleh), Besraya and Duta–Ulu Klang Expressway (DUKE) also allowed for greater connectivity to and from the area.
Two more road projects -- East Klang Valley Expressway (EKVE) and Sungai Besi–Ulu Kelang Expressway (SUKE) -- are expected to be completed by 2020, which will make travelling to the area even easier.
Being neighbours with Kuala Lumpur is a bonus for Pandan as the Malaysian capital city’s rapid development has spilled over to the constituency, influencing and encouraging MPAJ to be at par with Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL).
Maintenance, rather than upgrading, has been a key talking point among the locals.
Ongoing issues to be addressed included flash floods, mushrooming of illegal traders, traffic congestion and old drainage.
MPAJ received RM16mil from the Federal Government to rehabilitate four wet markets.
There are also plans to have wastewater treatment plants installed at the markets in Ampang Jaya as part of the plan to keep rivers clean under the River of Life (RoL) project.
The markets being upgraded are Pasar Pekan Ampang, Pasar Kuala Ampang, Pasar Pandan Jaya and Pasar Tasek Tambahan.
The Pekan Ampang and Pandan Jaya markets will be rebuilt into two-storey complexes, while the other two will remain as single-storey facilities.
Among other improvement plans are increasing parking lots and upgrading rubbish disposal areas as well as better drainage and sewerage systems.
Pandan also has a fair share of villages that have been part of the landscape for 60 years.
Making drastic changes or planning to develop Kampung Cheras Baru, Kampung Baru Ampang, Kampung Pasar Baru, Kampung Pandan Dalam Kiri and Kampung Pandan Dalam Kanan is no easy task.
Residents in the constituency largely comprised middle- and low-income people.
Teratai state seat
This area does not have many large-scale developments although it has a few matured townships.
There are very few high-rise buildings with various housing estates dotting its landscape.
However, a significant addition to the area has been the MPAJ stadium that is set to be operational later this month.
Developed by Ampang Jaya Municipal Council (MPAJ) at a cost of RM23mil, the stadium will have a 400m synthetic track, an international standard synthetic football field and a covered seating area of 1,100 seats.
MPAJ is the last local council in Selangor to have a stadium of its own.
Other landmarks in this state seat are the Taman Muda morning market and the Pandan Perdana lake, which was a former mining pond.
The market is one of the oldest here and is popular for its fresh produce and stalls selling cooked food.
However, traffic congestion remains an issue as vehicles are forced to park by roadsides.
Taman Muda Selangor Hawkers and Traders Association chairman Chow Chee Keen said the issue had worsened because its only parking lot -- located behind the market -- was currently being developed into an entertainment and exhibition centre.
“Motorists have been allowed to double-park along the main road, which worsened traffic flow.
“This is a short-term measure, and we hope MPAJ can come up with a better solution,” he added.
The constituency now comprises only 16 polling districts, one less than before the redelineation exercise.
They are Pandan Perdana Timur, Taman Muda Timur, Taman Putra, Taman Seraya, Taman Melor, Taman Mega Jaya, Taman Mawar, Taman Bukit Teratai, Pandan Perdana Barat, Kampung Cheras Baharu Barat, Taman Muda Barat, Taman Saga, Cheras Hartamas, Tasik Permai, Pandan Indah Jalan 5 and Pandan Mewah.
In the last elections, Teratai was won by DAP’s Tiew Way Keng by a 13,646 vote-majority.
The percentage of Chinese voters increased from 59% in the last general election to 62.1% currently. It now has 46,038 registered voters compared to the 40,862 previously.
Pandan Indah state seat
The Pandan Indah and Lembah Maju commercial centres have become the hub for residents in this constituency, formerly known as Chempaka.
This area is well-known for its many eateries offering varieties of local delicacies.
For residents in Taman Nirwana, Kampung Pandan Dalam Kanan, Kampung Pandan Dalam Kiri, the capital city is a leisurely drive before entering Jalan Kampung Pandan to the large Kampung Pandan roundabout, known for its many exits.
Ampang Jaya People’s Consultative Council adviser and Taman Nirwana resident M. Thomas hoped the flash floods situation would be addressed soon.
However, he said MPAJ had in recent years tackled several maintenance issues in the area.
“There have been several road expansions to ease traffic, while the drainage is slowly being upgraded.
“The most significant improvement has been waste collection,” he said.
However, he added that illegal roadside stalls were still a problem in the area.
In 2013, the state seat was won by Iskandar Abdul Samad (PAS) by a majority of 9,608 votes and soon it would see the percentage of Malay voters increased from 53% to 61.7%.
The state seat now has 42,451 registered voters compared to 42,995 voters in the 2013 general election.
It has 18 polling districts this time compared to 17 in the last elections.
They are Taman Nirwana, Angsana Hilir, Kampung Pandan Dalam Kiri, Lorong Raya Kampung Pandan, Pandan Jaya Utara, Taman Chempaka, Pandan Indah Jalan 1, 4 dan 6, Lorong Molek Kampung Pandan, Lorong Bersih Kampung Pandan, Pandan Jaya Selatan, Taman Bakti, Pandan Indah Jalan 2 & 3, Ampang Hilir, Cheras Indah, Taman Maju Jaya, Taman Kenchana, Kampung Cheras Baharu Timur and Desa Nirwana.