Host of problems await Anwar

Kajang by-election

(Sun Daily) – Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, should he be elected as Kajang state assemblyman in the upcoming by-election, will have his hands full in trying to solve the woes faced by residents there.

Famed for its satay, Kajang apparently is not without its share of problems.

Third-generation cendol stall operator Syed Ismail hopes that licensing permit fees, which were hiked by the Kajang Municipal Council this year, could be reduced to the original figure if not lower.

“Last year, it was RM180 annually but now it is RM360 according to type of business,” he said when met here today, adding that the traders were powerless when they approached the council regarding the hike.

Syed also lamented that prices of raw goods at Kajang’s wet market had risen greatly, especially red beans, coconut milk and gula melaka which he uses to make cendol.

“Initially, the price of coconut milk per kg was only RM6 but now it’s RM8.50. For red beans, the price per bag is now RM57 whereas it was RM44 last year. As for gula melaka, it’s now RM14.50 whereas previously it was RM12.50,” the 28-year-old said.

Another resident, D. Ganesan, said Anwar would have to deal with the flash floods which occur on regularly.

“The flash floods occur when there’s heavy rain and the water from the Hulu Langat river rises up to more than eight feet,” Ganesan said.

Checks by theSun revealed that embankments have been built along the river which passes through Kajang town, but it has not mitigated the flooding problem.

Ganesan added the rising of cost of housing in Kajang, which can run up to RM300,000 for a terrace house, has made it difficult for those in the lower income group to buy their own home.

“I hope that he (Anwar) will address this issue if he wins the seat,” he said.

Another resident, a 55-year-old retiree who wished to be known only as Chong, said: “It doesn’t matter which party or candidate (in the by-election) as long as they do their job and help the small-time traders conduct their business freely (without interruption from the Kajang Municipal Council).”