KLUANG – He vowed to return to his hometown after his studies abroad. The British-trained lawyer did just that.
Gan Ping Sieu (pic) returned to find Kluang town virtually unchanged. That was in 1993.
He also noticed all his Kluang Chong Hwa High School classmates had gone elsewhere to start their careers.
He set up his legal practice in town and firmly believed it could one day be the place for the young to live, work and play.
Fast forward to the present, Gan said the time has arrived for Kluang to progress and see development.
“We must stop asking why our young people are moving out to Singapore, Johor Baru and Kuala Lumpur.
“It is obviously due to more and more people with tertiary education finding it difficult to land jobs and business opportunities in Kluang,” he said.
Gan said the town has to be vibrant and progressive and provide a balanced lifestyle to attract the people, especially the younger generation.
Recalling his days as a young lawyer in his late 20s in Kluang, he said: “There was only one pub in town. My pastime was to hang out with friends there and play badminton five times a week.”
The 52-year-old Gan, who joined MCA in 1997, is contesting the Kluang parliamentary seat under a Barisan Nasional ticket this general election.
He said he has a 10-year plan to reinvent the constituency, starting from the town centre which will act as the nucleus.
“The area (nucleus) is sandwiched by the railway track and Sungai Mengkibol. And it takes just 20 minutes to walk from one end to another,” Gan said of his approach in transforming Kluang.
He envisions a vibrant lifestyle there that would include a pedestrian-only road.
“It will be a modern commercial hub,” he said.
Gan said Kluang must be well prepared to ride the wave of development.
Singling out on connectivity, he noted that the Gemas-Johor Baru electric double track will be finished in 2021, thus completing the entire stretch of the track that started from Padang Besar, Perlis in the north.
The 350km High Speed Rail between Kuala Lumpur and Singapore with just 90 minutes of travelling time is expected to be operational from 2026.
Gan also has plans to train young people on how to set up a business because they are a very important component in development.
On a pragmatic note, he said development required resources and planning and Barisan Nasional has a proven track record on this.
“We have lost five years,” he said, in an obvious reference to the Kluang seat falling to DAP’s Liew Chin Tong in the last general election after the MCA incumbent MP Datuk Dr Hou Kok Chung failed to defend his seat.
Gan, who is upbeat on Barisan’s winning chances, said the coalition’s component parties like Umno, MCA, MIC and Gerakan have their “Team Kluang” working closely together to woo the voters. – The Star Online