By Ashwin Kumar
FOR Paya Jaras assemblyman Khairuddin Othman, his priority will always be his constituency despite having his plate full as the Selangor Youth, Sports Development and Human Resource Development Committee chairman.
He has been the representative for the 43,000-strong electorate since 2013.
In an exclusive interview with Selangor Journal, Khairuddin said he is now committed to both the state administration and his constituency, and that being a politician means having the opportunity to help the people you represent.
Selangor Journal (SJ): What is the main industry in your constituency?
Khairuddin Othman (KO): I would say several sectors such as the Food and Beverage industry, and the plant nursery and flower industries. They are the backbone of Paya Jaras.
Paya Jaras has emerged as one of the fastest-growing areas in the Sungai Buloh district due to these industries.
SJ: What is the main attraction?
KO: I wouldn’t name it as an attraction but the Sungai Buloh Leprosy Settlement or Hospital Kusta Sungai Buloh is a landmark.
The settlement around the hospital was renamed the National Leprosy Control Centre in 1969 and was the second-largest leprosarium in the world.
The settlement has also contributed immensely to medical research. It has been recognised as a national heritage site.
SJ: What are some of the concerns that are regularly raised by your constituents and how do you plan to address them?
KO: The people in my constituency always raise issues concerning road congestions, floods and infrastructure issues.
We have a mixed community with various types of income groups and that means I anticipate and come across problems with illegal vendors or people conducting business at places barred by the authorities. Dialogue sessions and discussions with the local authorities and enforcement agencies are among the best methods to address the issues in my constituency.
On the large number of roadside hawkers, many of whom are unlicensed, I am doing my best to relocate them and help them get permits.
SJ: What are some of your achievements in the constituency?
KO: I wouldn’t call it an achievement but rather my responsibility, that is, to meet the voters’ needs. Like I mentioned earlier, infrastructure issues are among the most common grouses raised by the residents in Paya Jaras. So, the replacement of water pipes throughout Paya Jaras and the Matang Pagar area, the construction of the Paya Jaras Mini Stadium and the construction of new stalls at the business centre in Saujana Utama are among my contributions to help the community.
The mood can be depressing sometimes given the impact that the Covid-19 outbreak has had on everyday life. People have had their incomes reduced. Some even lost their jobs.
If you ask me, being there at the right time when your community needs you is the biggest achievement. That is why I advocated for the distribution of essential goods for the residents of Paya Jaras during the movement control order.
SJ: Can you share with us some of your problem-solving methods?
KO: I always make sure that the agencies and the authorities concerned hear out the problems that are faced by the people of Paya Jaras.
Once we get the response from the relevant parties, we continue with dialogue sessions and we make sure that we act on the particular issue.
My main objective is to ease the burden of the community here. I feel the need to connect with the people.