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Mad at YB Mad

From Malaysiakini.....

Kuek Ser Kuang Keng Jan 9, 08 2:07pm

For the past nine years, residents in Ampang, Selangor, have been asking for their Umno state assemblyperson to be replaced. In 2003, they also submitted a memorandum to Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi urging Barisan Nasional to drop the assemblyperson for the 2004 general election.

However, Mad Aris Mad Yusof (left) was fielded and won the Chempaka state seat. He is currently in his fourth term as a Selangor state assemblyperson. Mad Aris began his first term after winning the Pandan seat in 1990.

He retained the seat for another two terms. In the last elections, Pandan was upgraded to a parliamentary seat and Mad Aris contested for the newly created state seat, Chempaka, which comes under the Pandan parliamentary constituency.

The residents are seeing red because Mad Aris is embroiled in a series of land scandals involving the alleged leasing out of reserve land in Ampang for commercial purposes to his cronies. The state representative has denied the allegations. Malaysiakini will carry his comments in the final part of this three-part series.

'Not qualified' Chairperson of the Residents Action Committee for Taman Nirwana Phase 1 and 2, M Thomas told Malaysiakini that residents began to grow frustrated with Mad Aris following the 1999 polls.

Over the years, he said, resident associations in that area have separately aired their grouses to the Selangor state government and the BN leadership. Due to the inaction of the leadership, Thomas, 52, said residents had no choice but to send a collective memorandum to the Sultan of Selangor, Menteri Besar Dr Mohd Khir Toyo and Abdullah prior to 2004 general elections, asking them to remove Mad Aris from the list of candidates.

The memorandum was endorsed by six resident associations and NGOs based in the Pandan constituency. They claimed to be BN supporters and it is learnt that some of these groups are led by local Umno grassroots leaders.

"Mad Aris is not qualified to be nominated again due to his failure to discharge his duties and responsibilities effectively as the elected representative of Pandan for the past three terms," read the memorandum.

"This consensus was reached among us, the voter community that has been giving our concerted support to BN. We don't want the support (for BN) to be weakened just because the candidate that represents BN is not committed and credible," it added.

According to the memorandum and some residents, Mad Aris, who has also been an Ampang Jaya town councillor since 1992, is alleged to be involved in at least eight land scandal cases.

Residents suspect that he abused his power as a state assemblyperson and councillor to alienate plots of reserve land in Ampang for commercial purposes. These include green belts, school reserves, irrigation and drainage reserves, road reserves, buffer zones and empty land. The land plots were alleged to have been leased out to his cronies and the latter have re-rented it out to other companies for a higher price.

Malaysiakini will detail the allegations in the second part of this report. Lavish lifestyle Thomas said Mad Aris' lavish lifestyle and his plush bungalow in Taman Ampang Utama (above)) do not reflect the income of a state assemblyperson. "This is a commercial-minded assemblyperson and we don't need him.

The party may support him but residents here have no faith in him. He hardly goes to the ground," he added.

Concurring with this, Kampung Pandan Progressive Youth Association Chairperson Isa Mahadi, 37, alleged that Mad Aris did nothing in his four terms to develop Kampung Pandan, a Malay-majority area.

"In the past, Kampung Pandan was a model 'kampung'. But now it has become a 'dark kampung'.

There is no more an NGO presence or activities while the village committees are controlled by local political figures.

"If Mad Aris is not replaced, the people might vote for the opposition instead," he warned. Malaysiakini also learnt that the frustration against the state assemblyperson had appeared in the form of banners.

Last July, dozens of anti-Mad Aris banners (above), written in Malay, were put up all over the Chempaka constituency, but these were removed within a matter of hours.

Part 2 will soon be published.

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