GE15: Jobs for the young a key concern in Bentong, says Rara

BENTONG: A lack of job opportunities for young people here has resulted in many youths leaving for Kuala Lumpur in search of work, says Young Syefura Othman (pic).

After a week’s walkabout of the constituency, the Pakatan Harapan parliamentary hopeful said she found that this scarcity was a major concern among the people of Bentong.

“The second issue is housing, and the third is a lack of sports facilities and (hangouts) for young people,” she said when met at Chamang near here recently.

The former Ketari assemblyman, popularly known as Rara, sees Barisan Nasional candidate Tan Sri Liow Tiong Lai, 61, as a strong opponent because he is a former minister and member of Parliament, and is liked by the Malay voters who make up nearly 50% of the 87,058 constituents.

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Asked if the locals were unhappy with the Pakatan government for changing the realignment of the East Coast Rail Link (ECRL) from the original Bentong bypass to Jelebu, she said she did not receive any complaints.

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Young Syefura noted that with more than 20,000 young and new voters in the constituency for the 15th General Election (GE15), it was hard to engage with them face to face as many are not in Bentong currently.

She hoped young Malaysians eligible to vote for the first time on Nov 19 will choose “new politics” over “old politics”.

“We also hope there is a high turnout on polling day.

“Yes, we met some parents who said their children will come home to vote. I hope the young voters come home,” she added.

Young Syefura said the final week of her campaign will focus on Malay villages.

“We know it is difficult, but I want to try. My (state seat candidates) will focus on the Chinese villagers to gain their trust,” she added.

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Apart from Liow and Young Syefura, Bentong is also being contested by Datuk Roslan Hassan of Perikatan Nasional, as well as Independent candidates Mohd Khalil Abdul Hamid and Wong Tack.

Wong, the former MP, was dropped by DAP which opted to field Young Syefura in the seat.