Barisan Nasional Batu Kawan parliamentary candidate Datuk Jayanthi Devi Balaguru (left) says the residents in the area feel DAP have abandoned them. Pic by ROSLI AHMAD


BUTTERWORTH: Barisan Nasional’s (BN) Datuk Jayanthi Devi Balaguru is confident that the wind of change is blowing through Batu Kawan.

She said residents felt DAP had abandoned them despite being given the mandate for two terms since 2008.

The seat is held by DAP’s P. Kasthuriraani, the daughter of the late P. Patto, a former senior DAP politician and member of parliament.

She won with a majority of 25,962 votes.

“Voters are upset over land issues and unaffordable housing,” Jayanthi said today.

“As stated in our manifesto, we will build 65,000 affordable homes if Penang swings back to Barisan Nasional in the 14th General Election (GE14).

“The Federal Government has already purchased land in Batu Kawan for the purpose.”

The lawyer also promised to address sewage problems in Taman Sejati.

She said the sewage holding tank was operating beyond its capacity as it also collected wastewater from Icon City, a commercial area located nearby.

If elected, Jayanthi said she would focus on improving the socio-economic status of women in Batu Kawan during her first 100 days in office.

She also pledged to fight for equal pay for male and female blue collar workers.

“We need to create sustainable growth and entrepreneurship for the women, especially those in the B40 (bottom 40 per cent) household group, to improve their standard of living,” she said.

Jayanthi who is facing a four-cornered fight with Kasthuriraani and candidates fielded by Pas and the Penang Front Party believes she stands a chance to win the seat.

“We have been working here for months, and we have a strong machinery with supportive members who have done a lot of groundwork.”

In the last general election, Jayanthi contested against a DAP candidate in the Segambut parliamentary constituency.

She is the first Indian woman to be fielded by Gerakan for a parliamentary seat.