A kuey teow seller, scrap metal dealer and carpenter on what makes a Taiping MP

PKR and BN flags decorate the Pokok Assam Market in Taiping, which has become a focal point for political parties on both sides of the divide.

TAIPING: Taiping native Teh has high expectations of his next parliamentary representative, whom he hopes will draw investments to the area and be present to solve the problems of the people.

But while local issues such as the “pricey” entrance fees to the famous Taiping Zoo, or having a Taiping-based MP, are important to Teh, they still come second to national issues.

“For two terms, Nga Kor Ming was our MP, and truth be told he is hardly around.

“I haven’t seen much of a difference here in the past 10 years,” said the kuey teow seller who only wanted to be known by his surname.

“But what is more important to me are national issues like 1MDB. I want an MP who speaks up on issues like these.”

Nga, who is the Perak DAP chief, has been criticised by his opponents for rarely going to the ground and for standing in two seats which are far apart.

Nga is contesting the Teluk Intan parliamentary seat and the Aulong state seat, which is a two-hour drive away.

Scrap metal seller Ravi (not his real name) also told FMT he wanted a vocal MP. He added however that he liked Nga.

“I don’t care that he isn’t around much as long as he speaks against the goods and services tax (GST).”

Ravi, who has two school-going children, said the GST trumped any local issues as it had led to a higher cost of living.

He added that after the election, he wanted the government of the day to control the prices of goods and services.

Nga has been zeroing in on the GST, even coming up with an anti-GST song which is popular among opposition supporters.

Carpenter Albert Goh said although Nga was at his service centre every weekend, when it came to matters involving the government, people would still end up seeking help from Barisan Nasional (BN) parties.

For Goh, both local and national issues are equally important.

“To me, the choice of candidate is a factor too. So I want to size up the candidates first.”

What is certain for Goh is that he would like to see greater development in Taiping.

“Taiping’s development seems stalled compared to Lumut and Ipoh. We need more investments and jobs.”

The battle for Taiping will be a three-way contest between BN’s Tan Keng Liang, DAP’s Teh Kok Lim and PAS’ Ibrahim Ismail.

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