PETALING JAYA: Tired of the culture of politicians giving handouts without putting any concrete policies in place, an Orang Asli activist has decided to contest in the next general election under the Socialist Party of Malaysia (PSM) banner.
Mat Noor Ayat (pic) from Pos Lanai wants to stand in the Jelai state seat to fight for the community's rights.
PSM secretary-general A Sivarajan said Mat Noor was the most suitable candidate for the seat as 20 percent of voters in Jerai are orang asli.
He said Mat Noor has always been an activist, adding that he fought for the community when the Ulu Telom Dam was to be built in their village.
"He has fought very hard for the community and has always been in solidarity with other orang asli communities facing various problems in other states," he said.
Mat Nor said he will fight for everyone in the community, regardless of their racial background.
He said he would also highlight issues of native customary land rights faced by the community.
Asked why he agreed to stand on a PSM ticket, Mat Noor - a rubber tapper - said he and the party shared common values.
Jelai is a seat under the Cameron Highlands parliamentary constituency.
It consists of 11,184 eligible voters, of which 66 percent are Malays and the rest from other races.
In the 2013 general election, Barisan Nasional candidate Datuk Seri Wan Ismail Wan Rosdy beat PAS' Abdul Karim Nor and independent candidate Alagu Thangarajoo with a 63 percent majority.