CAMERON HIGHLANDS, Jan 12 — Pakatan Harapan (PH) candidate M. Manogaran today said that there is big challenge ahead of him if he wins the Cameron Highlands by-election.
He said he could write a book about the problems faced by the voters here.
“Winning is one thing, but if we win, there is a big challenge waiting for us. Cameron is not like any other constituency.
“It has a lot of problems such as land issues, traffic problems, no sustainable development, no town planning, employment opportunities, farming, flooding, landslides and the list could go on,” he told reporters after filing his nomination to contest the Cameron Highlands by-election at Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Sultan Ahmad Shah hall here today.
Manogaran is among the four candidates who will be contesting the parliamentary seat.
The other three candidates are Ramli Mohd Noor from Barisan Nasional (BN), independent candidate Sallehudin Ab Talib, who is a senior lecturer in Institut Aminuddin Baki Genting Highland and another independent candidate Wong Seng Yee, who is a local farmer and activist.
Manogaran said if elected as MP, he has big plans for the constituency and will start prioritising the problems that need immediate attention.
“Traffic problem is a major issue here. However, it can be easily solved. We have to change the road system. The roads leading from Kea Farm to Brinchang has always been congested due to parking constraint.
“We need to build more parking spaces so that visitors will not park the car in prohibited areas which can lead to traffic congestion. We also need to control the issuance of stall permits and if the shop operators agrees we can move them to different locations. This are the immediate measures that can be put in place to solve the problem,” he said.
The Pahang DAP deputy chairman said tourist and locals had complained to him about the traffic problems many times and some even told him that they spend their weekend in Ipoh just to avoid the traffic.
Manogaran said the farmer’s land issues is another problem that has been going on for decades.
“We are looking at the amendment of the National Land Code and temporary occupation licenses (TOL). People have been doing cultivation for about 30 to 40 years with TOL. It doesn’t make sense, they should at least be given leasehold,” he said.
Manogaran said he will propose a dam safety commission and act in order to avoid untoward incidents such as the Sultan Abu Bakar dam flooding incident which took place in 2013.
“We need a dam safety act like in other countries. In the flooding incident which happened about five years ago, the court found out that Tenaga Nasional Berhad was negligence in releasing water.
“It is a landmark case and we cannot let the case to go off like that. For the betterment and safety of the people here, we must have a dam safety commission who will take over the control of the management of the dams,” he said.
The Election Commission has set Jan 22 as early voting day and Jan 26 as polling day.
The Cameron Highlands parliamentary constituency has a total of 32,009 registered voters, with 19,524 voters from the Tanah Rata state constituency while 12,485 is from Jelai state constituency.
Malays make up the majority of the voters with 33.5 per cent followed by ethnic Chinese at 29.48 per cent, Orang Asli at 21.56 per cent, ethnic Indians at 14.91 per cent and others at 0.55 per cent.