By Ashwin Kumar
BATU Tiga may not be the most famous township in Selangor, but those who have been there remembered it best for one thing: its food. Its state assemblyman Rodziah Ismail knows this and plans to take advantage of the human desire for tasty meals to turn her constituency into a food haven.
Rodziah is not new to Batu Tiga. She has been the representative for the 55,034-strong electorate since 2008 and is also currently heading the Selangor Entrepreneur, Rural, Village and Traditional Village Development Committee portfolio.
Selangor Journal (SJ): What is the main industry in your constituency?
Rodziah Ismail (RI): We have many factories in my constituency. We are also seeing rapid population growth due to our industrial areas. Many places have been converted into commercial and residential units. I am sure everyone remembers the closure of the JVC Kenwood electronics factory in 2015. However, the closure of the factory did not put an end to the factory sector. In fact, more multinational companies relocated their factories here.
SJ: What is the main?
RI: I consider myself lucky to represent my constituency because of its location, population and food. The people who live here are mostly newly married couples, young families, lecturers, civil servants and young graduates who are joining the workforce, and most homes are owner-occupied.
Our residents are known to be foodies, so it is no surprise that my constituency offers an abundance of local food at affordable prices. We have Cendol Bawah Pokok, Nasi Gunung, Popiah, Soup Power and Asam Pedas Kampung Kuantan. My plan is to get the hawkers to set up stalls at a permitted location to make it a must-stop for anyone travelling to or through Batu Tiga.
Batu Tiga is also famous for its annual Bon Odori festival held as an effort to promote and strengthen ties between Malaysia and Japan, as well as to showcase Japanese culture to Malaysians.
SJ: What are some of the concerns that are regularly raised by your constituents and how do you plan to address them?
RI: The people in my constituency always raise issues concerning congested residential areas, old houses, potholes and floods. The population in Batu Tiga can be described as “super-sized”. Hence, we need to manage and find a way to solve these issues.
There are many old houses in Batu Tiga, especially in Section 24. Some of these old houses have been around for more than 100 years. They are usually wooden houses in the villages.
SJ: What are some of your achievements in the constituency?
RI: Previously, the people in Sungai Rasau were frustrated by flash floods that happened frequently, particularly those which resulted in material and financial losses. My councillors and I worked very hard to overcome this.
The state government has also been instrumental in addressing this issue. Many infrastructures in Batu Tiga were upgraded, especially the roads leading to and from Padang Jawa.
It was a challenging period for me and my team. The people of Batu Tiga know what I have contributed to them and those contributions are my legacy.
SJ: Can you share with us some of your problem-solving methods?
RI: I make sure that I help my voters whenever the need arises. The best way to solve people’s problems is by having dialogue sessions with them, together with the authorities concerned.
My community service centre also serves as a place where the locals can file their complaints or raise concerns over issues that affect their livelihood. I am not a “ceremonial” people’s representative; I am here to address their issues. If you want to know what my secret for being the wakil rakyat for three terms is, it is simple — I don’t rest.