Rejuvenate the heart of Pahang | The star

Brimming with youthful vigor, young MCA candidates seek the mandate of the people this GE15 to bring new ideas to the state

BENTONG and Raub are neighboring districts of Pahang facing water problems. Yet their problems are the opposite.

While Bentong has experienced flooding in recent months, parts of Raub suffer from a constant interruption in the water supply.

“We should build a pipe to bring all our water to you,” Bentong native Wong Siew Mun joked with Lim Teck Hoe, village chief of Kampung Tras in Raub district.

It may be a running joke between the two neighbors, but they recognize the seriousness of the problem and are committed to raising the issue at the Pahang state assembly to secure the resources needed to resolve the issues.

Siew Mun and Lim are MCA candidates running for the 15th general election. Siew Mun is vying for the Bilut state seat, which falls under the Bentong parliamentary constituency, while Lim is vying for the Tras state seat, under the Raub parliamentary constituency.

Lim Teck Hoe, village chief of Kampung Tras in Raub district, will push for an upgrade of water infrastructure to overcome frequent supply interruptions in his kawasan.

Siew Mun was among those stranded during floods last December and March this year.

“That December night was unforgettable and scary. It was 11:30 p.m. and the water level was high. The whole city was plunged into total darkness. I managed to call the local council for help but was told that all lifeguards had been deployed to other areas.

“About 30 minutes later, the mobile network went down. We were disconnected from the world,” she recalls.

“In the morning, Bentong was covered in mud. It was devastating to see,” she said, adding that she managed to gather volunteers to help clean up and offer moral support to affected residents.

new blood

Siew Mun is an active member of civil society who regularly volunteers at community events. Her experiences strengthened her determination to become a policy maker.

“I don’t want to be just a volunteer anymore, fixing community issues here and there. I want to have more influence and authority in making policies to help Bentong and the country,” she said.

The MBA holder said her election campaign will focus on flood mitigation, empowering young people and improving the local economy.

“Young people are not working in Bentong because they cannot find a job that matches their expectations of income, talent and ability.

“Some young people come back to care for their aging parents, but they struggle to find a job that matches their level of education,” she said.

If elected, Siew Mun has pledged to allocate funds to establish a community center, which will become a center for business networking and career matching, as well as a meeting point for young people to pass on their ideas and their feedback to the state government.

Wong Tze Shiang (middle) with his cleaning crew in March this year.  It is committed to solving the problems of annual floods and constant disruptions in the water supply that plague Mentakab.Wong Tze Shiang (middle) with his cleaning crew in March this year. It is committed to solving the problems of annual floods and constant disruptions in the water supply that plague Mentakab.

Lively and vocal, she is grateful to have the guidance and mentorship of Tan Sri Liow Tiong Lai, who served as MP for Bentong for four terms.

Only 32 years old herself, Siew Mun believes the voice of youth will be a big factor in winning the general election. According to Election Commission data, 46.9 percent of Bentong voters are under 40 years old.

“Young leaders can bring a new perspective to the administration of the state,” said Bentong District Youth Council Chairman Izzudin Hamzah.

“They can bring new ideas, more energy and vigor to the state assembly,” he said.

Local community leader Hon Sai Weng said, “Tiong Lai, Siew Mun and the MCA team have been very supportive of us throughout the floods and MCO. We believe their leadership will bring better change to Bentong.

In GE14 (2018), Barisan Nasional formed the government of Pahang State after winning 25 out of 42 seats.

“Generally, BN has managed the state quite well and we are happy to let them continue to lead Pahang,” Kuantan Tionghua Confederation of Associations Vice President Datuk Hui Hon Son said.

“Pahang has been able to prosper thanks to political stability,” he added.

The misfortunes of water

In Tras, Lim sees the need to improve the water supply infrastructure as well as the bridges in the constituency.

“In the space of seven months between 2021 and 2022, three bridges collapsed.

“In one case, Kampung Baru Tras was disconnected for three weeks because no vehicle could access the village. The bridge was still accessible to pedestrians and UiTM Raub provided bus services to shuttle the villagers as they could not drive their own vehicles out of the village.

Tee Choon Ser, a Kuantan councilman since 2015, wants to help the urban poor who don't know how to access government assistance.Tee Choon Ser, a Kuantan councilman since 2015, wants to help the urban poor who don’t know how to access government assistance.

With the mandate from the people of Tras, Lim will push for an upgrade of water infrastructure and for schools to be equipped with modern learning facilities and internet connectivity.

“The water supply system is 80 years old and cannot meet the needs of 100,000 inhabitants. We suffer from water disruptions every two weeks,” he said, adding that he was working closely with MCA General Secretary Datuk Chong Sin Woon, who is the Barisan candidate for Raub, to solve the problem.

Lim, a 46-year-old “edupreneur,” is optimistic that young politicians from all political stripes will rejuvenate the political landscape.

“The new group of politicians would have followed a higher level of education. Politics should be about proposing ideas, and an election should be a contest of ideas. We need politicians to continuously debate and improve policies,” said Lim, who holds a master’s degree in technology management and is currently pursuing a doctorate in the same field.

No more water problems

East of Raub and Bentong, MCA’s candidate for the Mentakab state seat, Wong Tze Shiang, is also struggling with water issues.

The native of Mentakab has to deal with the water problems of Bentong and Raub – the district is flooded every year, but there is a constant interruption in the water supply.

The 43-year-old businessman, who is a civil engineer by training, said Mentakab had been hit by floods twice in the past 12 months.

“We need to hire a drainage specialist to conduct a study and then strategize with the Department of Irrigation and Drainage. There are many ways to deal with this, including deepening or widening Sungai Semantan, or even building a dam,” he said.

He seeks the mandate of the people to empower him to obtain government funding to solve the problem.

“If public funds are insufficient, we can consider awarding turnkey projects to the private sector, which will then become the concessionaire for a number of years before returning the infrastructure to the government,” said Tze Shiang, vice -President of MCA Youth. President.

As for frequent water supply interruptions, he attributed the problem to aging infrastructure, including burst pipes, and a water treatment plant that can no longer cope with the district’s growing population.

basic network

On the east coast of Pahang, Kuantan Councilman Tee Choon Ser is vying for the Teruntum state seat in the Kuantan parliamentary constituency.

Kuantan Wanita MCA leader’s election campaign will focus on the welfare of disadvantaged communities as well as the rejuvenation of the local economy.

“Having been a city councilor since 2015, I am aware that many urban poor do not know how to access government assistance,” she said.

Tee, 41, who began his political career as executive secretary to former Kuantan MP Datuk Fu Ah Kiow, has established a strong network locally through his many roles in NGOs and civil society – including including as permanent president of the Pahang Young Malaysians Movement (YMM). , President of the Culture and Education Confederation of Kuantan Tionghua Associations, and various temple and welfare associations.

She wants to make Kuantan young and vibrant again, and like Siew Mun, thinks it is necessary for a youth complex to serve as a center of activities, while the state government should provide more incentives to attract investors, which in turn will create more high-income job opportunities for young people.

“It’s good to see young candidates being presented,” said Kuantan Bonsai Association President Loong Siew Fang.

“The future is theirs, so we know they have a vested interest in building a better nation for their children to grow up in,” Loong said.

Boon Jong Loai, chairman of the Kuantan Xiang An Elderly Welfare Association, said, “Choon Ser has always helped the community as a city councilor. It’s time to give her a higher platform so that she has more influence to better serve the community.

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