GE15: S'ban hopeful throws down gauntlet to Loke for debate and MP 'report card'

  • Nation
  • Tuesday, 08 Nov 2022

SEREMBAN: He may be a political novice but Independent candidate Izzat Lesly (pic) has taken the field with guns blazing, challenging Seremban incumbent Anthony Loke to an open debate and to produce his report card as a two-term MP.

The 33-year-old Izzat, a former student of the Royal Military College, also wants the three other candidates to join in the debate so they can tell voters what they plan to do for them if elected.

"I must admit that my friends had to help me raise money for the election deposit but we are ready to fight.

ALSO READ: Stage set for a tough battle

"We are also going to raise money through crowdfunding to print flyers and banners but we will use social media to reach out to as many people as possible," he said here Tuesday (Nov 8).

Izzat, whose wife just completed her post-graduate degree, said Loke may have performed well as transport minister when Pakatan Harapan was in the Federal Government but he could have done more for Seremban folk.

He said Seremban had not changed much since he was studying at SK Taman Paroi Jaya.

"In fact, we have bad traffic jams, an inefficient public transport system and lack of job opportunities for the youth," said the chemical engineering graduate from Curtin University.

Asked if Loke’s status as a political giant in Seremban worried him, Izzat said he was merely offering an alternative.

ALSO READ: GE15: Full list of candidates for Parliament seats

Izzat, now a probationary estate agent and also involved in aquaponics, said he was not planted by anyone to split votes.

He said he was one of five candidates of the yet-to-be-registered Parti Bahtera Sejahtera, who were contesting as Independents in the meantime.

The other four are standing in Ampang, Bangi, Gombak and Sepang.

Izzat said he had friends who lost their jobs when the movement control order was imposed following the Covid-19 pandemic.

Many, he said, were still unable to secure proper jobs.

"My team and I are also setting up a platform (through which) we will be able to provide jobs, especially (daily rated) jobs, to those who have lost employment.

"We will liaise with businesses and entrepreneurs with vacancies, even short-term, so that these people and other youths can be hired," he said.

Izzat, who will be using the pen as his symbol on the ballot, said he was confident of doing well as there were almost 60,000 new voters in the constituency.

"Most of these new voters are youths and I know what they want.

"Even if I lose my deposit, the people will surely gain a lot from this election because I am going to raise the problems they face, especially the youths who are already tired of all the political parties.

"We need an MP who will be able to manage Seremban," he said.

Izzat said if elected, he would propose a scheme under which the government pays allowances to undergraduates hired as interns.

He said there were some sectors and businesses that either did not provide any allowance or paid very little, and this is where young people also needed help.

Apart from Izzat, Loke is also being challenged by Barisan Nasional’s Felicia Wong Yin Ting, Perikatan Nasional’s Fadli Che Me and Gerakan Tanah Air’s Mohd Jani Ismail.

In GE14, Loke won the seat with a 30,694-vote majority.

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