Two weeks before nomination day for the Hulu Selangor by-election, the rates of highly-sought hotel rooms, shop lots and empty houses have shot up by several times, with some reaching RM20,000 a month.
This small sleepy town, more affectionately known as KKB by locals, has very few hotels and rest house, and the rooms available are less than 50.
"All 21 rooms at Seri Melati were taken up, a day after the member of parliament died. The 12 rooms at the Government Rest House were booked by the Selangor Government while Seri Teratai Melati Guest House only has six rooms," said a hotel operator here.
According to him, the Kem Bina Semangat in Ampang Pecah near here and Kalumpang Resort and Training Centre, were also booked as political parties, security forces, government agencies and the media scrambled to get rooms for their members and staff.
Empty shoplots and houses were fast taken up, with prices ranging from RM3,000 to RM20,000, including those without basic facilities. They are normally priced at between RM500 and RM2,000.
"The owners wants cash on confirmation. The demand is so great as the stakes are high...we are having headache to get rooms for our colleagues from other states," said a government agency official.
He said some political parties had gone as far as Genting Highlands, Rawang, Fraser Hill and Tanjong Malim to get rooms for their operatives.
Meanwhile, a number of banners have been put up at several locations here and Batang Kali, promoting former Selangor menteri besar Tan Sri Muhammad Muhammad Taib as a possible candidate for Barisan Nasional, and Datuk Zaid Ibrahim for Parti Keadilan Rakyat.
The seat fell vacant, following the death of incumbent MP Datuk Dr Zainal Abidin Ahmad of PKR due to brain cancer on March 25. Nomination day is on April 17 and polling on April 25.
Hulu Selangor, measuring 174,047 hectares, is as big as Melaka and has over 64,000 voters. It starts from Hulu Bernam, which borders Tanjung Malim in Perak and stretches to Serendah. Also in the constituency are Kuala Kubu Bahru, Ulu Yam, Batang Kali, Kalumpang, Bukit Beruntung and Bukit Sentosa.
Source : Bernama
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