Subang Jaya candidates vow to solve traffic congestion, mobility issues in city

Improving public transportation and making it easier to walk and cycle are at the top of the list of priorities for the three candidates hoping to be Subang Jaya’s representative in the Selangor assembly.

Incumbent Michelle Ng of Pakatan Harapan faces two rivals – Perikatan Nasional’s S. Ganapragasam, and Muda’s Zayd Shaukat Ali – and says she is ready for the tough fight ahead.

“It is interesting because we have a multiracial fight in Subang Jaya, and this is a reflection of the acceptance and maturity of the residents,” said Ng, 33, from DAP.

“We know the challenges facing the people – traffic jams being the main complaint – so we are looking at ways to improve the walkability and cycleability in the city, which we have started at certain areas in USJ13, USJ 20, and SS16.

“We also need to improve public transportation. We pioneered Kumpool (a ride-sharing platform using vans) that eased some of the transportation pressures. It has been a success. The federal government is looking at implementing something similar in other townships.”

Ng, a lawyer, won the seat in 2018 in a landslide victory, with 55,354 votes, defeating Chong Ah Fatt (Barisan Nasional-MCA) who polled 7,082 votes. Independent candidate Toh Sin Wah garnered 228 votes.

Only 62,664 people voted five years ago, and all three candidates hope for a higher turnout this year. Subang Jaya has 111,970 registered voters.

In asking for a second five-year term, Ng said she was working hard to address future challenges, such as water and climate change, and to implement digitalisation and automation in several job sectors.

“We have worked hard to ensure Subang Jaya residents do not suffer water cuts. In the past two years, we managed to prevent 37 shutdowns through several measures,” she said.

“We expect to face a drought in 2025, and you need a government that has experience, and knows how to address the issue.”

Ng also said she hopes to see more green lungs in Subang Jaya.

“We need to protect the green spaces that we have now. In Subang Jaya, that is the one thing that is missing,” she said.

“I am a mother and I love bringing my kids to parks. The state wants each constituency to have a flagship park and that is something I hope to see in Subang Jaya.”

Zayd Shaukat, at 27, is the youngest among the three candidates, but said voters should not hold that against him.

In pointing out that Ng was 28 when she won the seat five years ago, Zayd Shaukat said he is bringing a fresh outlook to the contest.

“It is time for something different. It is time for a change. We need a new face and person to come into the picture,” said Zayd Shaukat, a self-described ‘policy guy’, having worked as an intern with former Petaling Jaya MP, Maria Chin Abdullah, and as a special contract officer with former Serdang MP, Ong Kian Ming, when he was the deputy Investment, Trade and Industry minister.

“Although I am out of my comfort zone, I know that to make a difference, I must be in the system. That is why I agreed to contest in the state elections.

“We are working on improving the first, and last-mile connectivity, and pedestrian and cycling infrastructure. It is possible to walk around Subang Jaya, but many places are not shaded, and some places have obstacles, like potholes and broken tiles, which make it a challenge for the elderly and people with disabilities.”

He agreed with Ng about the need to have more green spaces in Subang Jaya.

“We need to improve the green spaces that we have, and find new green lungs for the residents. We also need to improve the existing sports facilities,” he said.

He said he has several ideas to make life easier for the people and hopes to have the chance to implement them after Aug 12.

While acknowledging Muda is a ‘David’ going up against two ‘Goliaths’, Zayd Shaukat said the party hopes to be the “voice of conscience” in the Selangor assembly.

“We have been making noise about the things we feel are not right. One example is the PJD Link Expressway project,” he said.

“The activists who opposed it worked tirelessly against the project and deserve credit for forcing the caretaker Selangor menteri besar (Datuk Seri Amirudin Shari) to stand down.

“We played a small part by showing our support. Can you imagine what we can do if our candidates are in the Selangor assembly?”

Ganapragasam, from Bersatu, meanwhile, has been a popular figure during his walkabouts in the run-up to polling day.

The actor-comedian, however, is aware that his “popularity” may not translate to votes if he does not prove himself in the next 10 days.

“Yes, people take selfies with me, but they know me from my entertainment career. The question is, will they vote for me?” asked Ganapragasam, or Gana, to his fans.

“To ensure they vote for me, I must prove I have what it takes to help them. The number one problem is the poor connectivity of our public transportation system, which forces many to use their own vehicles to get from Point A to Point B. This results in horrible traffic jams.

“I hear this complaint from people of all races. I have discussed the issue with my team, and we promise to find a way to make it easier for residents to travel in and out of Subang Jaya.”

Among the plans are more covered pathways for pedestrians.

“One of the complaints is that they get sweaty due to the weather.

“This can be overcome if they are shielded from the weather. We must also make sure that the pathways are in good condition.

“Perhaps we can look into special electrical bicycle lanes as well.”

Ganapragasam said he hopes Subang Jaya residents will give him the chance to deliver on his promises.

“Many are interested to know why an Indian is running on Bersatu’s ticket, and I am here to show that we are here for all the races.

“Give me the chance to show that I can help you solve your problems.”