NEWLY minted assemblyman Dr Afif Bahardin says he has big plans for Taman Medan, one of which is to elevate the rustic Malay heartland into a better place in which to live.
The 37-year-old Bersatu member has pledged to work hard in the next five years to win the hearts and minds of the people in Taman Medan who had voted for him in the recently concluded Selangor state polls.
“For the next five years, I am going to work with the stakeholders here who are pivotal in bringing forward the necessary changes needed.
“The area is run-down and I want to give it an image boost and transform it into a new and vibrant township which is liveable and has a lot of potential,’’ said Dr Afif, who contested under the Perikatan Nasional banner.
Taman Medan constituency covers Kampung Datuk Harun, Kampung Lindungan, Kampung Datuk Hormat, Petaling Utama, Taman Baiduri, Section 51 and the PJS areas.
The constituency is known for its wooden houses, some of which operate as small workshops and food stalls.
It is common to see people set up tables outside their homes with baskets full of Malay cakes and nasi lemak for sale.
It is also the norm to see roadside hawkers operating along main thoroughfares and public walkways.
Due to poor planning and lack of enforcement, the rather cramped township is notorious for traffic jams.
The main concerns among residents living there are the high cost of living and social ills among youths, which Dr Afif said he would address.
“From the very beginning I have always seen Taman Medan as a tough seat to win, especially with it being a Pakatan Harapan stronghold.
“I came in as an underdog and at a very late stage of the election period,’’ he added.
Dr Afif was formerly with PKR and served two terms in Penang as Seberang Jaya assemblyman from 2013 before resigning from the party and joining Bersatu.
In the Aug 12 polls, Dr Afif beat Pakatan’s Ahmad Akhir Pawan Chik by a razor-thin margin of 30 votes.
Pakatan had held the seat since 2008.
Taman Medan is one of three seats under the Petaling Jaya parliamentary constituency alongside Seri Setia and Bukit Gasing.
“It’s an amazing feat,’’ Dr Afif said referring to his win.
“I know it is a slim margin, which is why I have to hit the ground to win the hearts and minds of the people here.
“This is no honeymoon for me. In the next five years I have to do my best to represent the people here as they have high expectations,’’ he added.
Apart from transforming the area, Dr Afif also hoped to address long-standing issues such as affordable housing and the education of the young generation in Taman Medan.
“During the campaign period, these were some of the issues that kept cropping up. They are going to be my priority,’’ he said.
Dr Afif also shared his phone number on social media, saying his constituents could reach him via Whatsapp at 012-440 3265.
Taman Medan has about 61,000 voters, with Malays making up about 68% of the total population.
Dr Afif garnered 22,316 votes against Ahmad Akhir’s 22,286.
A total of 301 ballot papers were rejected and 43 were not returned.