NOT long ago, the mere mentionof Shah Alam would bringimages of floods and the lackof public transportation to mind.
Today, however, Shah Alam has transformed into a better place to work and live, with an environment that befits its city status.
Residents have witnessed rapid development throughout the city, with new residential areas, shopping complexes and buildings appearing at almost every nook and corner.
Shah Alam’s development was carefully planned and implemented.
As such, residential, commercial and industrial areas are located strategically, with a network of modern roads connecting them. Efforts are also being taken to solve problems that come with development, like social ills and traffic congestion.
“Four years ago, there were the issues of flood problem and lack of housing facilities especially for the Indians.
“Now the flood issues, especially in TTDI Jaya, has been resolved and the squatter issues have been tackled.
“Even those at the last (squatter) colonies, including those in Sect 26 and Midlands Estate, are in the process of moving to their new houses,” said incumbent Batu Tiga assemblyman Datuk Salamon Selamat.
In the 2004 general election, Salamon won the Batu Tiga (N41) seat with a majority of 7,387 votes over PKR's Shaari Abdul Malik.
As someone involved in the early development of the city, and who later served as MP and mayor for Shah Alam, Salamon knows the city inside out.
”Barisan Nasional has to win in this election so that we can continue with our efforts to make life good for residents.
“We will make sure that we not only win but win with a bigger majority,” said Salamon, who is also the Shah Alam Barisan election machinery director.
Salamon is teaming up with Datuk Ahmad Nawawi Mohd Zin (N40, Kota Anggerik state seat) and Datuk Seri Aziz Shamsuddin (P108, Shah Alam parliamentary seat) to ensure Barisan keeps its hold on Shah Alam.
They are each in a one-on-one battle with the Opposition. Aziz will again face Khalid Abdul Samad of PAS, Ahmad Nawawi will fight Yaakob Sapari (PKR) and Salamon is up against Rodziah Ismail, also of PKR.
In the 2004 election, Aziz won the Shah Alam parliamentary seat with 13,410 majority against Khalid. Nawawi won his seat against a PAS candidate four years ago with a majority of 8,201 votes.
The northern portion under the Kota Anggerik seat borders Subang, covering Bukit Jelutong, Monterez, TTDI Jaya towards Bukit Cherakah’s newly developed area that includes Setia Alam, Bukit Raja and Bandar Baru Klang in the south.
The southern portion under Batu Tiga covers areas like Taman Batu Tiga, Pinggiran USJ including traditional villages like Sungai Rasau, and Padang Jawa.
The 2004 election saw a total of 72,010 registered voters, 44,034 of them Malay, 11,188 Chinese, 9,270 Indians and 518 of other races.
The whole constituency is a mix of estates, forest reserves, traditional villages and newly developed areas.
Although Shah Alam has no hardcore poor, there are still a section of the people who are considered as relatively poor.
Sudden general unemployment or a family breadwinner's death is often the reason behind this condition.
“As a capital city of a developed state, Shah Alam has to be free of poverty that includes the urban poor.
“We will do our best to help these people,” said Salamon, adding that eradicating urban poor is the main focus for this election.
He said various programmes have been lined up to tackle the issue and to assist these groups to improve their economic condition.
Among the assistance offered are for house rental, children’s education and transportation to school, financial aid for childcare, transportation to workplace and haemodialysis.
At the same time, Ahmad Nawawi urged Shah Alam residents who need such help to come forward and inform the local authority.
“Some of them are shy about getting such help but we are telling them to come forward so that we can extend our assistance.
“Neighbours who know of these people should also encourage them to come forward,” he said.
“Kota Anggerik is still developing and there are many new housing areas in the constituency.
“Most of the issues faced by residents in these areas are related to those of new housing including public transportation, security and safety matters. The number of voters in this constituency is expected to double in the next few years,” said Ahmad Nawawi.
Barisan is also looking forward to getting the Shah Alam City Council to provide better and more efficient services to the public.
Yet nothing will work unless residents at all levels and the authorities work together towards the betterment of the city, said Aziz.
“We should not keep finding fault and pointing fingers at each other, instead, we all should be working together especially when it comes to providing services to the people.
“At the same time, residents should give their full cooperation to ensure that the development plan-ned for their area materialises,” he said.
He added that most issues brought up by the Opposition had been tackled by the Government at the central level, including education, inflation and fuel price.
“We actually have given what they are asking for, like better housing and better infrastructure.
“Some of these are in the process of being completed,” he said.