PONTIAN: Issues such as the rising cost of living, damaged roads and lack of infrastructure are among the main concerns raised by the local residents in the Tanjung Piai parliamentary constituency, and they hope the government will give these matters due attention.
These three issues have been raised by the constituents often as they are closely linked to their daily lives and activities.
One of the residents, Asiah Mudek, 57, from Pemok, explained as the cost of living increased, she had to dabble in the production of banana chips, cakes and frozen food such as curry puff, to supplement her family income.
“We hope the relevant parties will help market the products from the small-medium enterprises (SME) as these people, often from the lower-income households, do not know how to market their products,” she said when met by Bernama in Teluk Kerang, near here, recently.
Meanwhile, herbal trader and housewife Zarina Hassim said the candidate to be given the mandate at the Tanjung Piai parliamentary by-election on Nov 16 should help women in the constituency to generate their own income.
“We can’t just depend on our husband’s income alone. Do consider providing assistance to small business so that women can be independent financially,” said the 44-year-old from Kampung Parit Buntu, Teluk Kerang.
In addition, she said access to the Internet was also crucial to help market the products online as the marketing cost would be lot cheaper.
In the meantime, farmer Hasri Salim raised his concerns about the roads in his village that often damaged as they were constructed over peat soil, causing frequent accidents involving motorcyclists and cars, and often made worse by overloaded lorries plying the same stretches.
This problem was also acknowledged by the Pekan Nenas assemblyman Yeo Tung Siong, who said that the 10-km Jalan Pekan Nenas-Pontian had been repaired several times due to its deteriorating conditions as it was constructed over peat soil.
He said the Pakatan Harapan (PH) government viewed the matter seriously and worked with the Universiti Tun Hussein Onn (UTHM)’s Research Centre for Soft Soil (RECESS) and the Public Works Department’s Centre of Excellence for Engineering and Technology (CREaTE) to find long-term solutions by carrying out a study of the structure of the soil to address the problems pertaining to the road conditions, expected to be completed this month.
“For the PH government, such issues have always been emphasised and the most important is to find solutions to the issues that concern the interests of the local people and are seen as beneficial not only in the short term but also in the long term,” he said.
Meanwhile, PH candidate in the Tanjung Piai by-election Karmaine Sardini, 66, said he would prioritise on improvement to the transport network including the new road connecting Pekan Nenas and Tanjung Piai as well as the Sungai Pulai bridge, if he was given the mandate in the by-election.
“I think apart from the five key issues recently highlighted (by Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin,) we have also identified the future of development in Tanjung Piai as the new bridge across the Sungai Pulai will provide the new link from Johor Bahru to Tanjung Piai.
This would give a boost the tourism industry, on top of the existing sectors including agriculture and fisheries, said Karmaine.
He also expressed his hope that the constituents would put their trust in his ability to continue the struggle of late Datuk Dr Md Farid Mr Rafik as the people’s representative in the Tanjung Piai parliamentary constituency.
Dr Md Farid, 43, died of heart complications on Sept 21.
In the Tanjung Piai by-election on Nov 16, Karmaine is being challenged by the Barisan Nasional candidate from MCA Datuk Seri Dr Wee Jeck Seng, as well as Gerakan candidate Wendy Subramaniam and Datuk Dr Badhrulhisham Abdul Aziz representing Berjasa; and two independent candidates, Dr Ang Chuan Lock and Faridah Aryani Abd Ghaffar. — Bernama