In Bukit Pelandok, residents welcome PM-to-be as their MP

Anwar Ibrahim with residents in Bukit Pelandok during a ceremony to officiate the Chi San Liang Gong temple in Bukit Pelandok, Port Dickson.

PORT DICKSON: After visiting a Sikh temple and a mosque, Anwar Ibrahim today took his campaign to Bukit Pelandok, a predominantly Chinese part of Port Dickson, once ravaged by the deadly Nipah virus 20 years ago forcing authorities to cull millions of pigs and caused huge losses to farmers.

Anwar, who is hoping to ward off the challenge from six others to become the Port Dickson MP, also attended an event to officiate the Chi San Liang Gong temple here.

Bukit Pelandok sits in the Chuah state constituency, where PKR had won both the 2008 and 2013 general elections.

But residents say the assemblyman then, Chai Tong Chai, could not do much as both the state and federal governments were under Barisan Nasional (BN).

Now with a prime minister-in-waiting set to bring their voice to Parliament, residents are hoping for better times ahead.

Chief among their complaints is the poor infrastructure here.

“We need a flyover which connects Bukit Pelandok to Sungai Pelek. Right now it is very inconvenient for us. The previous MPs could not do this,” Kaw Teck Long, 72, told FMT.

“We hope Anwar will be able to address these concerns,” he said.

Kaw said Bukit Pelandok lacked recreational facilities, despite past applications to the state government.

Kaw also hoped the integrated scheduled waste management facility located in Bukit Nanas would be relocated.

“You may not see the effects now, but it is unhealthy for the people living here. Why can’t they do this someplace else, away from residential areas?” he asked.

Kaw is confident of a victory for Anwar, where the PKR leader is being challenged by six candidates including former Negeri Sembilan menteri besar Isa Samad and Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan, the man who accused Anwar of sodomising him.

Like many residents here, Kaw too is convinced that Anwar, who was granted a royal pardon for the sodomy conviction, was wrongly charged.

“We don’t believe he was guilty,” he said. “After all, he has already gone to jail. He has suffered enough in the past 20 years.

“We believe that Pakatan Harapan will be able to bring changes gradually. For the next five years, let them stay in power, and let them show us what they can do.

“If they don’t prove that they can work, we’ll vote them out next general election,” he said.