By Clara Chooi
KUALA KUBU BHARU, April 20 — With a campaign wrought by vicious allegations of his past sins, PKR’s Datuk Zaid Ibrahim is relying on his experience as an administrator and his promises for the future to convince the voters of Hulu Selangor to pick him as their MP.
Zaid, a former Umno man, today disseminated a message containing his future vision for the constituency and appealed to the people to “believe” in him.
The message was devoid of any knee-jerk responses to Umno’s attack on his character of late, which painted him as an un-Islamic man who enjoyed engaging in vices like gambling, womanising and even alcohol consumption.
Instead, Zaid spoke of his dreams to change Hulu Selangor, a constituency that missed out on the many riches and development in Selangor, and attempted to engender empathy with the people by saying that he, too, had been born to a poor family.
“On nomination day, I told the media that I had fallen in love with Hulu Selangor. I have met, heard and learned from many people here. I have visited many places and seen many things that touched my heart. To me, Hulu Selangor is a very special place,” read Zaid’s missive.
Zaid lambasted the previous administration for failing to bring Selangor’s oft-touted development to Hulu Selangor, which he said continued to lack many basic amenities.“I have spoken with Selangor Mentri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim and I aspire to be with the Selangor Pakatan Rakyat government in changing Hulu Selangor into an admired example for all Malaysians. Selangor is considered to be a developed state and the standard of living of its people is nearly equal with that of western Europeans. Hence why, since 50 years ago, thousands of people here still live without piped water? Without land? Without hope for the future of their children? The time for disappointment is now over. Now is the time for Selangor citizens to be given back the rights that were taken from them.
“You need simple infrastructure, a larger police force, more clinics to care for your health and that of our children’s. Infrastructure, safety and health are basic rights of all Malaysians. Hulu Selangor needs a leader to fight for your needs. If the people of Hulu Selangor give me a chance, Insyaallah (God willing), I believe I can be that leader,” said Zaid.
The PKR candidate espoused his vision in turning the semi-rural constituency into a commercial hub, in order to attract and retain the younger generation that has been driven away by a dearth of opportunity.
“The youths are the future of Hulu Selangor and the country. However, these youths have left Hulu Selangor due to the lack of jobs, lack of activities and the lack of basic opportunities for them to affect change here. This must change. Hulu Selangor needs its youths to stay here. We must change Bukit Beruntung and Lembah Beringin — which today have become abandoned towns — to become centres for education, business and culture in Selangor. We must work to turn Hulu Selangor into a place for all.”
“Hulu Selangor is almost equal to the size of Malacca and was blessed with the richness of land and natural environment. Yet, thousands of people here have been living in uncertainty of their fates since 50 years ago, until Khalid gave them land grants. Yet, there are more land plots without grants, especially the children of Felda settlers — although their parents have worked the said lands for more than 30 years. At the same time, Felda rakes revenue in billions of ringgit.”
“The Selangor PR government has solved many of these issues and we are ready to move forward. Insyaallah, if I am chosen, together with the people, especially the youths, we will change Hulu Selangor to become the main centre of Eco-tourism and Natural Heritage in the state.”
The former law minister ended with a show of understanding for the residents of the constituency, drawing parallels between his youth and their situation now.
“I come from a poor family. I understand the needs, dignity and dreams of the people in Hulu Selangor, as they are the same wishes that I share myself. To the people of Hulu Selangor, I say, believe in me and give me the chance to work together with you in turning this dream into reality. Towards a better Malaysia,” said Zaid.
“Together let us save Malaysia!”