Malaysiakini Special Report

BN as saviours: A snapshot of Titiwangsa’s urban poor

Kow Gah Chie  |  Published:  |  Modified:

SPECIAL REPORT | In the heart of Kuala Lumpur lies Kampung Datuk Keramat, a century-old Malay village that is juxtaposed against the stunning view of the Petronas Twin Towers and KLCC.

Although the village and the country's commercial hub may be within just walking distance, the living conditions in the two iconic localities are worlds apart.

Unlike the affluence of the RM2,000 per square feet KLCC area, many who call Keramat home can be classified as poor.

A recent straw poll of Keramat folks – who are constituents in Titiwangsa – revealed that this disparity does not influence how they vote. This is despite the general perception that the majority of city folks are staunch opposition supporters.

For petty traders Noor Amira Masri, 33, and Zamri Salleh, 52, things are improving and they say they have BN to thank.

Noor Amira (photo), who trades at the Keramat market, said that although her family was poor, BN's policies had helped her family members escape poverty by providing them with an education.

"I was born into a poor family. My father was merely a fruit seller, but all his eight kids went to university. We obtained Public Services Department (JPA) scholarships and sponsorship.

"While my niece and nephew studied medicine in the UK and engineering in Japan, they were given RM60,000 and RM1 million to further (their) studies," she added.

Noor Amira expressed special gratitude for the Titiwangsa MP Johari Abdul Ghani, whom she said had helped the community a lot.

"I got aid from school programmes, my mother received a pair of reading glasses. The sugar cane juice hawker down the road got an ice-blender, while another received an aluminium stall worth RM1,500," she said.

"I do not understand politics and I don't want to judge. When I go and cast my ballot, I only vote for a representative who can help the community. He helped, what else you want from a lawmaker?" added the clothes trader...

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