Kuala Besut by-election: `Politics of poverty unethical'

BESUT (July 13, 2013): The politics of poverty that is obvious among the Kuala Besut constituents has to stop.

PAS secretary-general Datuk Mustafa Ali said today that leveraging on the increasing poverty level is not ethical.

"The poor is seen as an asset and monopolised to fear the BN-led government. This is not a recent discovery but has been present for many years among the constituents particularly the fishermen," Mustafa said in a press conference held at the PAS headquarters as he recalled his involvement in the last Kuala Besut by-election in 1979.

Fishermen in Kuala Besut have not been left out or some may see it as being neglected from the upgrading processes that are taking place in other neighbouring constituencies.

Over the years, the situation has forced them to seek better opportunities outside of Kuala Besut and some have even left Terengganu.

He said that Kuala Besut has been neglected from development plans in the past and that there is no significant improvement in its current state of infrastructure and economic advancement.

"A clear example would be the Kota Putera constituency. Comparatively, Kota Putera has much more development than Kuala Besut where there is even a teachers training institution alongside other government developments that are noticeable," added Mustafa.

He said that poverty is turning into a tragedy for the constituents in Kuala Besut as they have not only been left behind but soon to be forgotten if this situation continues to prolong.

"Kuala Besut has also been disregarded as a fishing port by the government-led Kemasin Semerak project. The constituents have the right to live a better life after working so hard for a living in the past and present as fishermen," Mustafa said.

He also said that the Barisan Nasional leaders have failed to bring improvements for the Kuala Besut constituents, hence the rising level of poverty and unemployment that also leads to serious social problems among the youths.

"Kuala Besut needs a representative that can identify with the prominent issues that are seriously affecting the locals and not one who is hardly present in town to understand thoroughly the problems faced within the constituency," Mustafa said as he referred that every by-election or general election heavily focuses on the strengths of the candidates who are contesting for the seat.

He described PAS candidate Azlan Yusof, or more popularly known as Che Long, as one who has been known for his generosity for helping the locals and also as a local 'boy' who is able to understand the pressing issues faced by the constituency.