By Ashwin Kumar
SERI Serdang assemblyman Dr Siti Mariah Mahmud may be a new face in her state constituency that covers large areas of Puchong, but her passion in assisting the low-income group, especially women and children, goes a long way back.
Prior to her current position, she served as the Kota Raja member of parliament for two terms in Klang.
Heading the Selangor Health, Welfare, Women Empowerment and Family Executive Committee portfolio, Dr Siti Mariah is now committed to both the state and her constituency, affirming her loyalty through hard work and dedication to the people. She is also a member of the Selangor Covid-19 task force set up by the state government to counter the spread of the disease.
Selangor Journal (SJ): What is the main industry in your constituency?
Dr Siti Mariah Mahmud (SMM): Economically speaking, the people in Seri Serdang come from diverse backgrounds. Some of them are traders and some own businesses. We have a good number of villages (kampung) which we call semi-urban areas. The people from these villages contribute substantially to the economy through odd jobs and farming.
SJ: What is the main attraction in your constituency?
SMM: Honestly, Seri Serdang is a new area for me and I don’t live there. I don’t have time to enjoy my constituency yet because whenever I visit, my entire time is spent serving the people there. I just want to reach out to families, especially those in low-cost flats.
SJ: What are some of the concerns that are regularly raised by your constituents and how do you plan to address them?
SMM: We have a considerably large population in my constituency and they are mostly from the B40 group. We have quite a number of low-cost apartments and they are where the B40 group resides. The people from this group depend largely on daily wages and I always come across problems with illegal vendors or people conducting businesses at places barred by the authorities. They always face legal problems with the authorities. I always try my best to reach out to them and guide them towards using the proper channels when conducting their business.
SJ: What are some of your achievements in the constituency?
SMM: This is the first time I am serving the state constituency and my first two years were focused on getting to know my voters. I have yet to bring big projects to Seri Serdang. However, I would say meeting and serving the people should be my achievement. Having said that, I managed to set up two service centres — one in Puchong and the other in Seri Serdang. This is to ensure that the residents have better access to my team.
SJ: Can you share with us some of your problem-solving methods?
SMM: I always make sure that I am accessible to the people and I make myself available. I always work with the people and the non-governmental organisations in order to address my voters’ grouses.