Rubbish in Ijok – MB Selangor in Trouble

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MBThe daily grind of his duties as Selangor Menteri Besar could cost Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim his Ijok state seat in the upcoming 13th general elections.

Ijok, previously a ‘fixed deposit’ seat for Barisan Nasional (BN) before Khalid captured it under the Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) ticket in the 2008 elections, could well swing BN’s way, based on criticism that he has not paid much attention to the same seat which lifted him to the MB post.

Khalid had previously lost to BN’s MIC candidate K. Parthiban in the Ijok by-elections, held after its previous incumbent Datuk K. Sivalingam died of a heart attack.

However, a miscalculation by BN in the 2008 general election led to disastrous results for the ruling coalition. MIC was given a seat in the Bukit Melawati constituency, and Umno was tasked with handling Ijok, opening the door for Khalid to avenge his earlier defeat.

Khalid had previously lost by a 1,850 vote majority in the by-elections. However, he followed it up with victory in the GE with a 1,920 majority win.

While Ijok’s voting constituency admittedly has a 50.6 per cent Malay majority, it is however the seat which commands the third highest number of Indian voters in Selangor, with 28 per cent.

Ijok locals have claimed that Khalid has been “ineffective at best” since claiming Ijok, with residents also claiming that they were fed up with his “non-people friendly” political machinery.

“If we ask for aid, even if we’ve drafted letters and submit them officially, there’s no response. They just don’t care,” claimed a resident

In addition, residents also claimed that local council issues, such as rubbish collection, have been neglected since Pakatan Rakyat ruled Selangor.

They claimed that while the Kuala Selangor District Council (MDKS) does its rounds, it isn’t thorough.

“Rubbish collection was never an issue prior to this. Now, MDKS collects rubbish but it’s slipshod work. The waste bins provided aren’t nearly enough,” claimed a resident.

Another resident, who declined to be named, said Ijok doesn’t have many major issues as the existing infrastructure is sufficient.

“But this doesn’t mean that the ‘wakil rakyat’ can just wash his hands clean. The kampung people are sensitive.

“The wakil rakyat needs to be more attentive. If you can’t provide any aid, then just pay a visit and say hello from time to time,” he said.

Apart from the disgruntlement by the locals, Khalid could also face problems from within the Pakatan Rakyat coalition itself.

Ijok PAS members believe that the seat should be given to PAS to contest as they claim they are the ones who have been “doing all the work.”

“Ijok should be given to PAS. PKR’s machinery here is not only ineffective, not many people even know where their office is here.

“PAS has been the one doing all the campaigning here so far,” said a local PAS member, who wished to remain anonymous.

He said last time, PAS agreed to have PKR contest the seat as the Indian community would not vote for PAS.

“But things are different now. We’ve been doing the legwork and we believe the Indian community is seeing that,” he stressed.

However, it isn’t only Khalid who is facing problems within Ijok. The constituency’s BN coordinator, K. Parthiban, isn’t exempt from criticism.

Sources claim that Parthiban is a favorite among the Ijok residents and is a regular face at community gatherings such as weddings and funerals in the area.

Insiders claim that while the MIC man is affable and well-liked, he is hampered by his own political machinery.

“He (Parthiban) is well-known and well liked around here, but BN’s service centre leaves a lot to be desired.

“They aren’t people friendly and appear reluctant to extend aid, which has left a sour taste among the locals.

“Many of us have come to the BN office to seek help, but the treatment given is disappointing.

“This is a pity as Parthiban has worked hard, only to be let down by the BN machinery, “he said. – mD