TWO decades ago, Selayang was a place perceived to be suffering from regular floods, located far away from the city, lacking in development and having poor public transportation.
Today, however, Selayang has transformed into an area for property investment, with a thriving business centre, many factories and more greenery than other developed areas in Selangor.
Residents boast of the lush greenery in the area and the crystal clear rivers and waterfalls of Hutan Lipur Kanching, Hutan Lipur Bukit Lagong and the Forest Reserve Institute of Malaysia. There is also Tasik Biru in Kundang, a favourite spot for water- and jet-skiers.
The road network includes the North Klang Valley Expressway that connects to Rawang, the MRR2 and Jalan Ipoh-Rawang, making it easier for residents to get to Petaling Jaya. And, with the 25km Guthrie Corridor Expressway passing through Bukit Lagong opening last year, travel to Shah Alam is also easy.
New housing development projects like Kota Emerald in Rawang and existing ones like Bandar Country Homes, Bandar Tasik Puteri, Tasik Biru Kundang and Selayang Heights prove that people love staying in the area.
The Selayang constituency is a mix of estates, forest reserves, traditional villages and newly developed areas.
With the development came many public facilities. Selayang has the MPS Stadium, Selayang Hospital, four golf courses , the Gombak Police Headquarters, Pasar Borong Selayang, a courthouse, two malls including Selayang Mall and Selayang Capital, and a magistrates court at Bandar Baru Selayang.
There are still issues like floods, poor collection of garbage, potholes, streetlights and crime. But Rawang town is being revolutionised with the installation of 16 CCTVs to fight crime, and other areas like Selayang and Kundang will soon follow, Selayang parliamentary candidate Lee Li Yew said.
Squatter problems in Bukit Botak, Kampung Bunga Raya in Kuang, Selayang Bharu and Rawang have been solved.
In fact, there were still about 1,000 residents in Batu Arang complaining about not receiving their land titles. Two months ago, the Gombak District Land Office issued 148 land titles to residents here and hopes residents will be patient as they will get their land titles soon.
The 44-year-old Lee said there was a property boom throughout Selayang, Rawang and Kuang, with highways passing throughout the townships.
A newcomer on the block, Lee is Selayang MCA Youth chief and is replacing Datuk Seri Chan Kong Choy for seat. Lee has lived in Rawang all his life.
In the 2004 general election, Chan won the Selayang seat (P097) with 23,524 vote majority against PKRs Koh Swee Yong.
The 2004 elections saw a total of 79,557 registered voters, 36,636 of them Malay, 30, 423 Chinese, 12, 915 Indians and 583 of other races.
This election, Lee is up against William Leong Jee Keen from PKR and Koh Swee Yong from PSM in a three-cornered fight.
Lee is also teaming up with new Barisan Nasional faces throughout the constituency Abdul Shukur Idrus (N13, Kuang), Goh Ah Ling (N14, Rawang) and Datuk Subahan Kamal (N15, Taman Templer).
Shukur will have straight fight with PKR candidate Badrulamin Bahron, while Goh is facing independent candidate Chandra-segaran Arumugam and PKRs Gan Pei Nei in a three-cornered fight.
Subahan will have straight fight with Mohamad Abdul Rahman of PAS.
I know what the people want as I grew up here. I am fighting for setting up a post office in Kuang and the development of Kuang town as the KTM Komuter that passes here, said Abdul Shukur, 42, the Selangor Umno Youth chief.