MUAR, March 4 — The issue related to small traders and youth development are among the main focuses of Pakatan Harapan (PH) and Barisan Nasional (BN) candidates contesting for the Simpang Jeram state seat in the Johor state election.

Datuk Seri Salahuddin Ayub from PH, who is also Simpang Jeram incumbent, said a people-friendly policy should be created such as facilitating business licence applications and showing empathy towards traders who are still struggling with economic challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to him, the local authorities should be more reasonable and not arbitrarily seized the equipment of traders who sometimes have to borrow to buy the necessities.

“I may not agree to compromise on road safety issues, roadside stalls that endanger vehicles or hygiene issues that must be addressed.

“The municipal council must be reasonable when dealing with the people as this attitude is very important. This is the struggle that I need to continue for the sake of the people of Simpang Jeram state constituency,” he told Bernama at a get-together with locals, here.

Salahuddin, who is Pulai Member of Parliament (MP) and Parti Amanah Negara (Amanah) deputy president, said there were not many infrastructure issues in Simpang Jeram as the area was close to urban areas, but he wanted to focus on increasing the income of small traders affected by the pandemic.

Recognising the employment issues that plagued university graduates, Salahuddin said it was important that a stable state government was formed to create employment opportunities for young people.

Salahuddin will face his three opponents – Datuk Lokman Md Don of Barisan Nasional (BN); Mahaizal Mahmor of Parti Pejuang Tanahair (Pejuang) and Zarul@Mohamad Zahrul Salleh of Perikatan Nasional (PN).

Meanwhile, Lokman, who is contesting for the first time, wants to focus on youth development in the area because, in his view, young people need to be given attention to as future leaders who will continue the country’s legacy.

The Johor UMNO deputy information chief also said that a local centre should be established as a reference location for the youths to highlight issues faced, obtain information, counselling sessions as well as an activity centre for the group.

“From what I see, young people in the Simpang Jeram state constituency have an interest in sports such as football and track and field sports, and my dream is to take their talents to a higher level,” he said.

In the 14th General Election, Salahuddin won the Simpang Jeram state seat with a 7,687-vote majority, defeating three other candidates.

The Election Commission (EC) has set the polling date for the Johor polls on March 12.

Based on EC data updated until Jan 21, a total of 40,014 registered voters in the Simpang Jeram state constituency which is under the Bakri parliamentary constituency.


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