PEKAN, June 25 -- The people in the Chini constituency are hoping that local leaders will use the current campaign for the state seat by-election to listen to their grievances.
Issues relating to public welfare, infrastructure and development are among the woes faced by the locals in the China Felda Cluster as well as local villages and Orang Asli settlements which the future people’s representative and leaders must give attention to.
To the locals, the by-election is the best platform for them to voice their problems which have yet to be resolved.
Ibrahim Aman, 49, a first-generation Felda settler, said the problem of disrupted water supply in the Felda Chini area which has been a common occurrence since 30 years ago must be given immediate attention and resolved.
“Please settle this matter. Improve the water plant. We have had enough of the contaminated red water here,” he told Bernama.
In 2017, the Federal Government allocated RM18 million for the construction of an off river storage (ORS) reservoir at the intake point of the Mentiga River, but the project has been delayed since then.
Menteri Besar Wan Rosdy Wan Ismail said recently that the project, which is expected to start in September, will take about a year to be completed.
It will benefit more than 33,000 residents in the Felda Chini Cluster as well as villages like Paloh Hinai, Kampung Mambang, Kampung Padang Rumbia and Gumum.
Another local settler Othman Saad, 67, urged the government to resolve the problem of housing for new generations of Felda settlers who now have to stay in their parents’ homes.
He said the government has to come up with a mechanism which will allow the children of settlers to work the land independently and buy their own homes.
There should also be more job opportunities for youths here so that they do not have to migrate elsewhere to earn a living, he said.
“Rather than allowing outsiders to buy homes here, it is better to help them (second generation Felda settlers) first. Once the young migrate and we (the older generation) die, the village will also die,” he said.
Fruit seller Rusdiyah Arkib, 43, also raised the issue of basic infrastructure, saying she wants to see more street lights, while sinking roads with holes must be repaired for the sake of public safety.
“This is no small issue as it affects our safety. The Salong-Kuantan road is full of holes as big lorries ply it and there have been many accidents involving locals along the road, especially at night,” she said.
Meanwhile, youths here are hoping for a sports complex for them to hold recreational activities.
“There used to be a sports complex here, but it was taken over. So now we do not have a specific place for our sports activities like futsal, sepak takraw and badminton,” Mohd Dinie Jaffar, 25, said.
The Chini state seat by-election covering a 590.23 square kilometre area, sees a three-cornered fight between Barisan Nasional (BN)’s Mohd Sharim Md Zain and two Independent candidates, Tengku Zainul Hisham Tengku Hussin and Mohd Shukri Mohd Ramli. Polling has been set for July 4.
There are 20,990 registered voters here comprising 20,972 ordinary voters and 18 early voters. -- BERNAMA