Pulai parliamentary constituency’s strategic location, which is in the heart of Johor Bahru City and within the Iskandar Malaysia economic corridor, allows this area to develop rapidly.
The area houses major shopping centres such as Plaza Angsana Johor Bahru Mall, B5 Johor Street Market and Paradigm Mall Johor Bahru as well as hotels, cafes, and various other types of businesses, making it one of the busiest areas in the city.
Pulai is also equipped with various infrastructure facilities including more than 50 primary and secondary schools, two government hospitals namely Sultanah Aminah Hospital (HSA) and Permai Hospital, government clinics such as health, rural and community clinics as well as police stations and a fire station.
Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) Razak Faculty of Technology and Informatics lecturer Assoc Prof Dr Mazlan Ali said with all these facilities, it is no wonder that Pulai is one of the main places for Singaporeans to get various services and goods.
"The Pulai parliamentary constituency is flourishing with various business activities and is the focus of tourists, especially from Singapore, thus causing some goods or products to become more expensive.
"However, it provides sustenance to the residents involved in the activities and boosts the economy, not to mention that citizens of neighbouring country do not like to bargain because the value of their currency is greater," he told Bernama when contacted recently.
The vibrant economic activity in the area is also helping more than 200 hawkers and small traders in Pulai parliamentary constituency generate their income.
Based on its demographics, he said Pulai, which includes the Perling and Kempas state constituencies, is an urban area, therefore the future elected representative must be a progressive person to continue the momentum of development brought by the previous representative.
He said this is because the late Datuk Seri Salahuddin Ayub had such a high reputation in the area and was synonymous with the concept of Rahmah which benefits the people especially when dealing with the cost of living issue.
According to the data from the Department of Statistics in 2020, with an area of 73 square kilometres, Pulai parliamentary constituency has a total population of 291,876 people comprising 47.3 per cent Bumiputera, Chinese (40.7 per cent), Indians (11.5 per cent) and others (0.5 per cent).
In addition to conducting business activities, most residents in this area are also involved in the service sector, construction, manufacturing, transport and storage as well as restaurants, real estate, professionals, education, administration, hairdressing and beauty care.
According to the electoral rolls updated as of July 23, a total of 166,653 voters are eligible to cast their ballots in the by-election. They are 165,700 ordinary voters; 927 policemen and their spouses as well as 26 absentee voters who are abroad.
The largest group of voters in the Pulai parliamentary constituency are in the 21-29 age group, which is 21.05 per cent of the total voters or 35,074 people; followed by 34,235 voters (20.5 per cent) in the 30-39 age group, while 32,271 voters (19.3 per cent) in the 40-49 age group.
In terms of racial breakdown, Malays make up 44.18 per cent or 73,619 voters, Chinese (40.46 per cent or 67,434), Indians (12.31 per cent or 20,508) and others (3.06 per cent or 5,092).
In this parliamentary constituency there are also 500 Orang Asli residents from the Seletar tribe which is one of the 18 Orang Asli tribes in Malaysia who live in Sungai Temon Orang Asli Village and Bakar Batu Orang Asli Village, with 306 of them eligible to vote on Sept 9.
Throughout the campaigning period since Sept 26, among the issues frequently raised by local residents were on the urban poor, job opportunities and infrastructure including dense housing.
This caught the attention of Pakatan Harapan (PH) candidate Suhaizan Kaiat who is determined to eradicate poverty and defend the B40 group in the area by continuing the Rahmah initiative introduced by Salahuddin, in addition to focusing on housing, education and the issues raised.
The Pulai parliamentary and Simpang Jeram state by-elections are being held following the death of their incumbent Salahuddin, who was also the Minister of Domestic Trade and Cost of Living, on July 23.
In the Pulai parliamentary by-election, Suhaizan is facing a three-cornered fight that features Zulkifli Jaafar of Perikatan Nasional (PN) and Samsudin Mohamad Fauzi who is contesting as an independent candidate.
The EC has set polling day for both the by-elections on Sept 9, with early voting on Sept 5.
Source: BERNAMA News Agency