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V.Jagarasah, a state assemblyman, is in the news now. Let me itemize the goodies he has got:

RM50 million facelift and major development, including RM20 million for Hindu Cultural Centre and RM 27 million for a recreational centre, RM 2 million for flood mitigation. with another RM 1 million, for extras I guess.

He has taken pains to clarify that that the RM50 million is not an election goody but an ongoing progress work done to uplift the welfare of the public. He is all excited about the mega project, the RM27 million one, but I think the people there won’t be excited as this mega project is still under consideration by the Mentri Besar. But it is good he is excited as he was then three years ago when allocation of RM20 million was made for the Hindu Cultural Centre. The Mentri Besar lost his head because he had not received any feedback, and whether V.Jagarasah went missing at the point of time, I don’t know. It is only known R.Nadarajah the President of Batu Caves temple came into the picture. R.Nadarajah loves drama and sensation and in replying to the Menteri Besar, said he had handed over the proposal for Hindu Cultural Centre to him on Jan 4 this year. You can read this here. The Menteri Besar shot back, what plans he said, Nadarajah only handed over a landscape proposal. Please read this here. Nadarajah falls sick and that is the end of the matter.
So the Hindu Cultural Centre is still on. V.Jagarasah says he has identified the place, but as a mystery, he loves mysteries, conveniently failed to mention whether the Mentri Besar has agreed to the place. The Mentri Besar, now, trusts Jegarasah more than R.Nadarajah, but the people must wait.
V.Jegarasah knows that HCC is an old story and the Mega project is still on the drawing board. But still V.Jegarasah, with a calmness of a politician maintains work will start soon on these and they are not promises of erection goodies. Shame on him. Komala the other MIC representative in the state is reported by many sources as good as gone. V.Jegarasah has nothing to offer, and so is there any conclusive future for him. Wish you the best is all that I can say.

Changing the face of Batu Caves

K Kabilan | Feb 6, 08 10:39am

The Batu Caves state constituency is about to undergo a massive facelift with several major development projects costing almost RM50 million being earmarked for the area.

image Two of the projects will have a direct bearing on the hilltop Murugan Hindu temple, where the annual Thaipusam festival is held, attracting about a million people over three days.

According to Batu Caves state assemblyperson V Jagarasah, the main project of interest to Indian Malaysians will be the establishment of a Hindu Cultural Centre.

“The state government has allocated RM20 million. I have already identified the place for the project and work will start soon on it,” he told Malaysiakini when met recently.

The project has long been mired in controversy because of the delay in implementation.

image Selangor Menteri Besar Dr Mohd Khir Toyo (right in photo) had previously confirmed that his government had allocated the funds and was waiting for the community to identify the location.

Earlier, the Batu Caves temple committee, headed by R Nadarajah (left in photo), had indicated that the cultural centre would be built on a site near the temple. The committee had been tasked with identifying a suitable location.

However, it is learnt that the site identified has been taken up for another project. Informed sources said the state government is not keen to locate the cultural centre within the temple compound, as is being proposed by Nadarajah.

Jagarasah said he had since been asked by the state government to identify the site and to ensure that work starts as soon as possible.

Recreational and tourism park

A two-term state assemblyperson for the constituency, Jagarasah is more excited over a mega-project which he said will “change the face of Batu Caves”.

He said there are plans to convert 9ha of land into a “world-class recreation and tourism centre”.

The RM27 million project will be a joint-venture between the Selayang Municipal Council and a private developer, and will take shape on a site close to the Batu Caves temple compound.

“The working paper is with the menteri besar. The project will see a one-stop centre for people to enjoy recreational activities. It will also supplement the Batu Caves temple as a tourist attraction,” he said.

image He said that the proposed recreational centre and the Hindu Cultural Centre will be connected to the Batu Caves temple to make the area a complete tourism destination.

“This will spur economic growth in the area. The people of Batu Caves will definitely benefit from these two big projects,” he said.

Jagarasah also said RM2 million has been allocated to upgrade the Batu Caves riverbank, to make it easier and more comfortable for devotees to complete their ritual ablutions before carrying kavadi for Thaipusam.

“At present the riverbank is a mess. We want to install proper facilities and (improve the) landscape, so that the place will look presentable,” he said.

Jagarasah said that the riverbank project will start any time now and will be ready in time for Thaipusam next year.

‘Not election goodies’

Asked if the Hindu Cultural Centre and the riverbank projects are being rushed in time for the general election to capture Indian votes, Jagarasah denied this and said he is not worried about any loss of support.

“However, I think I still have support here. The voters know that I am here 24 hours for them. I stay in this locality.

“We have many other smaller projects for Batu Caves as well and these are not being done just because of the general election.”

Interviews with residents confirmed that Jagarasah is someone who gets things done for his constituents. They said he has relocated almost 600 squatters to low-cost flats in a neighbouring constituency.

image Asked about this, Jagarasah said he was not worried about losing the 600 votes as he is more “interested in uplifting the living standards of squatters”.

Residents also credit the MIC central working committee member with doing a lot to solve problems with flooding.

Responding, Jagarasah he obtained RM11 million from the state government for flood mitigation projects and is awaiting a RM17 million grant from the federal government for additional mitigation works.

“Don’t get me wrong. These projects are not being done with the elections in mind. I just want my constituency to be developed,” he said, pointing out that he is not even sure if MIC president S Samy Vellu will retain him to defend the seat.

“I hope to continue to serve as the state representative here. I want to finish what I have started but (my candidacy) is entirely up to MIC president.”

Tough fight?

MIC leaders contacted were tightlipped about Jagarasah’s political future.

In the last election, he defeated PKR’s Kamarul Baharin Abas with a majority of 1,781 votes. In 1999, he beat PKR’s Razali Ismail by 449 votes.

If chosen, he is expected to face a PKR candidate again, but this time possibly someone of Indian origin to capitalise on the community’s seething resentment of the government. Indian Malaysians make up about 24 percent of some 26,000 voters in the constituency.

A potential PKR candidate, who did not want to be named due to party restrictions, claimed that Jagarasah has failed to develop the area over two terms and should not be voted in again.

“Never mind whatever he says, these projects look like election goodies to me. We are sure we can win the Batu Caves seat this time around,” he said.

Changing the face of Batu Caves

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