The largest seat in Malaysia requires a local to handle the numerous problems faced by its constituents.
The Kapar parliamentary constituency is one of the seats under the belt of Pakatan Rakyat, which is currently held by PKR’s S Manikavasagam who defeated MIC’s K Komala in the 2008 polls.
Considered the largest constituency in Malaysia, it has more than 100,000 voters.
With speculation rife that Manikavasagam would be moved to a state seat in the next polls, several names have been proposed for the Kapar seat.
Among them is dentist, Dr V Nedunchelian, whom I believe is the best man for the job given that he is a local and has an excellent track record in social service.
There are numerous problems and dilemmas which the constituents in Kapar face.
Transition period – agro based to industrialization (1961)
Many factories and SMIs were built and many Kapar people worked in these factories. The environmental aspects were ignored and the health aspect of the workers were not well taken care of. Many suffered from diseases like asthma, bronchitis and skin problems.
Another factor was the influx of foreigners in Kapar. They have settled in Kapar and have caused many domestic problems. The crime rate has increased tremendously with their presence.
Many illegal Indonesians have “sneaked” through Port Klang and now control certain areas in Kapar with regard to business.
The rising number of Bangladeshi workers was also alarming, and they too create a lot of social problems. Many Indian female workers in factories have fallen victims and were sexually assaulted.
Some married the Bangladeshis and became single mothers once these foreigners left.
There are also many newborn babies in Kapar without birth certificates, an issue which required urgent attention.
Apart from this, there is no hospital in Kapar and emergency cases would be either referred to the Hospital Tunku Ampuan Rahimah in Klang or the Tanjung Karang hospital. This has caused deaths due to the lack of urgent and immediate treatment.
Even the police station in Kapar is still the old and dilapidated building.
All these issues were not addressed by the MPs of Kapar. They knew about the issues but did not bother to get involved simply because they were outsiders.
History has proven that a local MP does fantastically well in his or her constituency. Only a local- born politician could address the needs, wants and wishes of the people of Kapar.
On that ground, Nedunchelian possesses the potential to champion these issues.
A Jeeva was the former managing editor of a Tamil daily.