ISKANDAR PUTERI, Feb 21 — Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM) tonight announced that seasoned activist Arangkannal Rajoo would be its sole candidate for next month’s Johor state election.

PSM deputy chief S Arulchelvan said that the 46-year-old filmmaker will contest the Kota Iskandar state seat that is expected to see multi-cornered fights on March 12.

Arangkannal said he was confident about standing as a candidate for PSM, as he believes that ordinary folk, especially in Johor, have been adversely affected by the Covid-19 pandemic and their grievances gone largely unheard.

He said despite only contesting one seat for the upcoming state election, PSM has a different political narrative compared to other parties.

“Almost all political parties, irrespective of those that have been in the ruling coalition or even in the Opposition, have not attempted to champion everyday people, especially the working class,” said Arangkannal during a press conference in Kangkar Pulai here tonight.

“With that, most of the proposed policies, programmes and reform agendas are designed with the capitalist classes and big corporations in mind. It caters to the elites.

“This should stop as the people are fed up with such practices and PSM is prepared to provide a progressive alternative that empowers the people.”

This will be the first time that a candidate from PSM, a leftist party that champions working class issues and rights, is standing for election in Johor.

For the Johor state election, PSM plans to launch its manifesto centred on three core areas: coat of living, affordable housing and employment.

The party previously had a supporting role with other socialist parties during the period from 2008 to 2013 under the Pakatan Rakyat (PR) Opposition coalition.

Meanwhile, Arulchelvan said PSM will be the party that breaks the monopoly of elite political parties in the Johor state election.

“This is also a historic moment where, for the first time, PSM will contest using its own logo in Johor after almost 15 years of our comrades being involved as activists in this state,” he said.

Arangkannal, who is also a member of the Johor PSM state leadership committee, was the media coordinator for PSM president Mohd Nasir Hashim when the latter ran for the Kapar parliamentary seat under PR in 2013.

In the 14th general election (GE14), Parti Amanah Negara (Amanah) candidate Dzulkefly Ahmad won the Kota Iskandar state seat under Pakatan Harapan (PH) with a 13,543 majority over Barisan Nasional (BN) and PAS.

The Election Commission (EC) has set March 12 as polling day, with nomination day on February 26 and early voting on March 8.