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The local, activist and lawyer fighting it out in Ampang

Sasha Lyna Abdul Latiff is already a familiar face on the ground thanks to her years of work as a community activist.

Nur Hasliza Mohd Salleh
2 minute read
Perikatan Nasional candidate Sasha Lyna Abdul Latiff speaks to a woman during a walkabout in Ampang Point ahead of the general election.
Perikatan Nasional candidate Sasha Lyna Abdul Latiff speaks to a woman during a walkabout in Ampang Point ahead of the general election.

In Taman Cahaya, Ampang, the rain is pouring down – but a handful of residents eager to meet election candidate Sasha Lyna Abdul Latiff have turned out anyway, undeterred by the gloomy weather. 

Sasha, a lawyer by training, is one of nine candidates vying for support in Ampang. 

Although she is a newcomer, her work as a community activist over the past few years has put her in good stead among the urban poor. 

Now, as the campaign period enters its final leg, she is in her element, visiting the residents and chatting about their problems and the issues on the ground. 

Sasha, herself an Ampang local, grew up in Taman Watan. The mother of four is representing Perikatan Nasional (PN) in the 15th general election (GE15). 

In Ampang, she is up against the incumbent, Zuraida Kamaruddin of Parti Bangsa Malaysia, Ivone Low Yi Wen (Barisan Nasional), Rodziah Ismail (Pakatan Harapan), Nurul Ashikin Mabahwi (Pejuang) Lai Wai Chong (Warisan), and three independents: Muhammad Shafiq Izwan Mohd Yunos, Tan Hua Meng and M Raveendran.

Apart from her work as a lawyer at Messrs Sasya Lyna & Partners, she is also the founder of NGO Bondafund, which gave donations throughout the Klang Valley during the movement control orders and the floods that hit in December last year. 

She was also a volunteer at the Kuala Lumpur Legal Aid Centre. 

As an Ampang native, she has noticed a lack of recreational centres for senior citizens. 

Speaking to MalaysiaNow, Sasha said most of the seniors she had met in the area stayed at home with their grandchildren or by themselves during the day while their children were at work. 

She said such a routine was not healthy for the elderly. 

"We could build a service centre to help bring this group together, so that they can enjoy a better quality of life," she said. 

She is also focusing on the youth, saying she intends to help young people in Ampang prepare in terms of work and social skills if she is given the mandate in the upcoming election. 

For this purpose, she wants to set up a comprehensive one-stop centre. 

"We want to make it an inclusive place for everyone," she said. 

"We would hold classes for everybody in Ampang, from young to old." 

Sasha is also offering legal services for women, especially those embroiled in problems regarding household issues, divorce, alimony and child custody. 

She said legal awareness on the community level remains low, and many residents are not represented in shariah court cases. 

She is also speaking out about concerns on the cost of living due to the Covid-19 pandemic. 

"Many people have been affected, including those in the M40 and T20 groups," she said. 

"And of course, there are the ongoing issues in Ampang related to development, trader licences, and infrastructure. 

"As MP, I would look into all of these and boost the level of enforcement."