Kelana Jaya constituents enjoy city lifestyle but tired of developments


FOR those who do not live in the area, the Kelana Jaya parliamentary constituency sometimes causes confusion because it covers not only the Kelana Jaya neighbourhood, but also areas such as Subang Jaya, USJ, Sunway and Glenmarie.

The Subang Jaya and Kelana Jaya state seats were previously under the Subang parliamentary seat until a re-delineation exercise in 2004 when Kelana Jaya became a parliamentary seat with two state seats – Subang Jaya and Seri Setia.

However, whether it is in Kelana Jaya or Subang Jaya, one of the main concerns of residents is the worsening traffic congestion.

Persiaran Kewajipan, which is the arterial road from Subang Jaya through to USJ, is known for its daily crawl, which has worsened recently due to construction works for the LRT extension project.

The Subang-Kelana Link, which was completed in 2009 to alleviate congestion, only seems to have made the jams worse as it brings traffic directly onto the Kesas Highway interchange along Persiaran Kewajipan.

Another major artery in the area, the Damansara-Puchong Highway – popularly known as the LDP – was completed at the end of 1998 and serves as a connection between Petaling Jaya and Puchong.

With easy access to the LDP, the Kelana Jaya neighbourhood became a hot spot for developers and high-density developments mushroomed within several years.

The highway soon became a traffic nightmare not only for surrounding residents, but for people commuting to and from places such as Puchong, Sunway, USJ, Petaling Jaya and Kuala Lumpur.

As a result, residents started to be wary of development and with a high percentage of them being educated urban voters, people here are not afraid to speak their minds.

Public hearings became the norm and residents demanded to see documents such as Traffic Impact Assessments and Social Impact Assessments while questioning every decision made by the local authorities.

Some of the high-profile protests against developments that have taken place include the Subang Ria Park and PKNS field issues.

Subang Jaya Residents’ Association chairman A.S. Gill summed up the voters’ sentiments when he said that at the state level, people expected the elected representative to ensure that the day-to-day tasks were carried out effectively.

“We want to see a solution to the traffic problems. Local Agenda 21 should be strictly adhered to and residents should be consulted before new developments are approved.

“They also need to ensure that the local council spends the people’s money wisely and that there is transparency when decisions are made at the state level.

“We were also promised local council elections so that is something that we want to see. At the parliamentary level, there are expectations for the elected MP to correct any past wrongs. Laws passed must adhere to international standards of human rights without racial discrimination. They also need to look into our basic need for safety,” he said.

The 2008 general election saw PKR’s Loh Gwo-Burne beat MCA’s Datuk Lee Hwa Beng by a majority of 5,031 votes while independent candidate Billi Lim, who only garnered 1,895 votes, added a lot of colour to the campaign with his jovial personality and Lau Fu Zi (Old Master Q) haircut.

On the ground, many residents are not too impressed with Loh’s performance over the past five years.

Talk is rife that PKR will not be fielding him in the coming elections and that Seri Setia assemblyman Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad, who is also PKR communication director, would step up into the MP role.

Other names being bandied about as possible PKR candidates include PKR strategy director Rafizi Ramli, Investment and Commerce Bureau chairman Wong Chen and PKR national committee member and Bukit Lanjan assemblyman Elizabeth Wong.

Nik Nazmi and Elizabeth seem to be still actively involved in their respective state constituencies; Rafizi has been making his rounds in Pandan while Wong Chen has showed up at several Kelana Jaya events with Nik Nazmi, making him a likely candidate.

Kelana Jaya parliamentary coordinator Ong Chong Swen, who contested in the Subang Jaya state seat in 2008, looks likely to take on the parliamentary seat this time around.

Ong, who also lives in the USJ area, has been actively organising events and raising issues since 2008.

Besides Ong, MCA publicity bureau deputy chairman Loh Seng Kok, who held the MP seat from 2004 to 2008, has also been seen at various Kelana Jaya events and many believe that they could see a comeback.

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