Saturday March 8, 2008
Chai Ho gung-ho about a 4th term
INCUMBENT Bandar Tun Razak MP Datuk Tan Chai Ho of the MCA is going all out to defend his parliamentary seat and this will be his fourth contest.
In this general election, the Deputy Home Minister is involved in a straight fight with Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) secretary-general Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim.
In 1999, Tan beat Dr Chandra Muzaffar representing the then Parti Keadilan with a majority of 1,224. Tan won again in 2004 against PKR touch-bearer Dr Rosli Ibrahim by a whopping 17,527-vote majority.
The Bandar Tun Razak parliamentary constituency has the second largest number of voters (72,628) in Kuala Lumpur after Seputeh. It is famous for having one of the countrys longest night markets.
The parliamentary constituency covers 19 housing estates: Taman Mulia, Taman Bukit Anggerik, Taman Ikan Emas, Batu 3-4 Jalan Cheras, Sri Kota, Sri Johor Flats, Sri Pulau Pinang Flats, Sri Sabah Flats, Sri Melaka Flats, Sri Labuan Flats, Bandar Tun Razak, Taman Connaught, Bukit Jalil, Sungai Besi, Kampung Sungai Besi, Pekan Sungai Besi, Kem Tentera, Taman Len Sen and Taman Bukit Cheras.
Its residents are of a diverse ethnic composition with 52%Malays, 39% Chinese, 8% Indians.
The constituency has an abundance of low-cost but high-density Projek Perumahan Rakyat (PPR) flats under the Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL), housing many from the lower income groups.
There is also a small section in Taman Ikan Emas where long houses can still be seen in this urban township.
Upmarket link houses and apartments housing the middle-class residents are found in housing estates like Taman Bukit Anggerik and Bandar Sri Permaisuri.
Facilities such as health services, education institutions, transport services, recreation parks, entertainment spots and places of worship are plentiful in the self-contained township.
Commuting is also convenient as there are several train stations, including the Bandar Tasik Selatan station, which is an interchange for KTM Komuter, Putra LRT (formerly Star LRT) and KLIA Express and Transit trains.
However, traffic chaos is a constant headache for the residents but several bridges had been built near Taman Segar, Taman Taynton and Taman Connaught to ease the congestion.
According to Tan, the authorities are building an interchange in front of Plaza Phoenix and it is 70% completed.
Tan said that once the interchange was operational, the daily traffic jam at Jalan Cheras and the surrounding areas would be a thing of the past.
He also said a special task force was being formed to speed up solving complaints of the PPR flats residents.
Challenger Khalid is a veteran entrepreneur and a former CEO of Guthrie Bhd and Permodalan Nasional Bhd. He is also running for the Ijok state seat, which he lost to K. Parthiban of the MIC in a by-election last year.
There had been talks that if Khalid wins he would step down later to allow PKR adviser Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim to contest a by-election.
Khalid said, however, that although Anwar would be a better candidate to serve the people, it was ultimately the peoples decision on whether they wanted him or Anwar as their MP.
Khalid is confident that his business acumen would be useful in his political career.
Like in business, I am transparent and accountable, he said.
Khalid said that should he win, he would fight to have the price of fuel reduced and to seek for the abolishment of the New Economic Policy so that the country would be able to compete globally.