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Malaysia GE: Youth voters remain a toss up

I read with interest the Opinion piece, “Malaysia GE: Youth voters remain a toss up” (ST, Nov 16)

Firstly, let me explore its similarity with Singapore and compare its possible “implications” or influence between Malaysia and Singapore.

Obviously, in this forthcoming Malaysia’s General Election, most leaders from respective political parties would like to engage them and win their votes.

It was reported that youth under 30 make up six million, or almost one in four of all eligible voters in Malaysia. It is a considerable substantial number of voters who could shift the sentiments and the outcome of the GE.

Similarly in Singapore’s political landscape, the subject of younger (young) voters seems to be seriously focused and heavily placed in a significant position in GE 2020 and the subsequent general elections by various political parties.

As, Today’s commentary from Ambassador-at-large Chan Heng Chee iterated that those aged between 25 and 35 formed the biggest bulgy in its population pyramid during GE2020

According to Professor Chan, “the Workers’ Party understood this and chose youthful candidates and issues for the Zoomer generation……This online digital politics is now the new retail politics – up close and personal.”

In her lecture, Prof Chan reiterated: “Clearly, this age group bought the opposition message of the need for diverse voices in Parliament and the need for checks and balances.”

Further, in The Straits Times report dated 18 July 2020, the Minister for National Development at then said that, “To improve its performance in future elections, the People’s Action Party has to do a better job of appealing to young voters.”

However, in 2020 Singapore GE, there was no solid statistical evidence to prove that most voters in Sengkang GRC voted three Workers Party’s candidates into the parliament were belonged to younger demographic voters. Nevertheless, the Workers Party’s victory in Sengkang GRC 2020 had caught PAP by big surprise.

The GE2020 results might distinctively indicate that the young people have significant diverse life aspirations, expectations and priorities, as well as a hidden trend of generational shift.

In fact, many sensitive or touchy issues which still centre on and linger in the minds of vast voters prior to and aftermath of the Singapore General Elections 2020. These issues would determine the sentiments and outcome for the subsequent GE.

For examples, the issues which remain to be tackled by the Government: power imbalances, “freedom” of speech and expression, soaring prices and longer waiting time of BTO flats, rising healthcare costs, persistent inflation and increase of GST- which unavoidably affect the costs of living, and uncertainty of employment prospects as well as others.

If all these issues could be well addressed and dealt with by the ruling party, then, regardless of having a peculiar demographic composition of younger voters or not is immaterial/insignificant in any electoral constituencies.

Hence, it is too early to predict or say PAP will face real threats or similar challenges in next general election, even though WP had won another Sengkang GRC in General Election 2020.

Undeniably, Sengkang trio MPs have the amazing qualities, their hard work on grounds and the sacrifices on their community commitments which earned sizeable admiration and appreciations from most young voters and the Sengkang residents.

However, it is not impossible for PAP to mobilise its powerful ground machinery and resources to persuade the voters and win back Sengkang GRC in the forthcoming General Elections. It is much dependent upon what sorts of smart campaigning tactics they would deploy.

In politics, it is unpredictable as if in any changeable war. None of the shrewd politicians is able to predict exactly the outcome of any elections or reading the voters’ minds.

Although to a certain extent we can assume or claim that PAP politicians today are not necessarily shrewd or better than all the rest.

Perhaps, the best is yet to come from the Opposition. But, it will all depend whether any best candidates would boldly step out from the “woods”. As this might be likened to another hidden “sleeping dragon” Zhuge Liang is yet to be called upon by “mission of turbulent era at then” and by this decade.

Anyway, it is very significant for WP and the opposition parties to work extra hard, not to feel complacent about what they currently possess.

Preferably, PAP would consider to abandon its paternalistic approach and “combative political tactics” in order to persuade and win greater number of voters.

In despite of all the above, all political parties must plough their grounds deeply (in greater latitude and in-depth) to understand, digest and grasp the vast voters’ sentiments, diverse voices, thoughts and hearts so that they can score a commendable election results either in GE2024 or GE2025.

 

Teo Kueh Liang (Mr)

 

 

yyy
READER COMMENTS BELOW

7 Responses to “Malaysia GE: Youth voters remain a toss up”

  • opposition dude:

    Sorry Teo Kueh Liang, though the PAP has a formidable election machinery all that is good for is arranging for things to happen like putting up banners or logistical work. Most definitely not reaching out to the younger voters so their so called youth wing is just in name only.

    Let’s be frank, how many times has PAP said they will reach out to the young and then did nothing at all? The problem with the PAP lies in their outdated “We know everything” thinking and of course, their arrogance. So since the top management has already decided how they want to do things then naturally they will NEVER ever bother with what the young ones want.

    Do you remember reading in the newspaper countless times of the same old wayang survey about the issues concerning the young? It’s always the same shit reported every few months with work life balance, cost of living and flat prices. Do you see PAP doing anything to address these issues and actually trying to resolve them? No right? So all they do is repeat the same shit over and over year on year.

    The PAP have only themselves to blame for losing GRC after GRC along with a plummeting vote share. As long as they do not want to change the way they do things they will continue to alienate voters and never gain traction with the younger generations, it’s as simple as that.

    Together with the insistence of raising GST next year and the one after when inflation has soared so much this year alone gives you the impression of the usual from PAP which is a government who does not consult with the people and simply decides what it wants when it wants.

    At the rate this is going, it would surprise no one when even more opposition get voted in after the next election.

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  • Merobok:

    For the next GE possibly in either 2024 or 2025, the WP needs to find outstanding candidates like Jamus to capture the electorate!
    The East Coast GRC now held by the PAP under the author of the “East Coast Plan” is very vulnerable and the WP has a very good chance of capturing it! There are many talented and outstanding would-be candidates out there!
    WP….get them and groom them for the next 2 years to be ready!

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  • xoxo:

    @Merobok

    You are quite right.
    A lot of our sg-PMEs have lost their jobs.
    This is an opportune time not just for WP bur more specifically for the oppo in general.
    WP has been too parochial and it would be better for WP to work more closely with the other oppo.
    Frankly,oppo cannot remain fragmented much longer or even WP will lose its current seats.
    Its not about WP alone anymore.
    Refusal to see this is a step closer to WP’s ultimate demise.

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  • only stupid people vote pap:

    Merobok:
    For the next GE possibly in either 2024 or 2025, the WP needs to find outstanding candidates like Jamus to capture the electorate!
    The East Coast GRC now held by the PAP under the author of the “East Coast Plan” is very vulnerable and the WP has a very good chance of capturing it! There are many talented and outstanding would-be candidates out there!
    WP….get them and groom them for the next 2 years to be ready!

    East Coast will go to WP GE2024.

    West Coast will go to PSP GE2024.

    No if.

    No but.

    East Coast and West Coast will go to OPPO GE2024.

    When structural surplus every year is S$20B yet the pap Ljs and pap Cbs still want to raise GST to 8% means these pap folks deserve to lose GE2024.

    When every year the number of marriages remain more or less the same and yet pap Ljs and pap Cbs always under build HDB so much so this causes a price squeeze and a long wait time means these pap folks are not doing their job properly so they deserve to lose GE2024.

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  • SINGAROAR:

    Disagree with the writer.Fundamently the people no longer trust the PAP to be working in the interest of the State and it’s beneficiaries, the citizens.There is lack of transparency with our reserves and the borrowings of our CPF by TH. Why does the govt.need to have budget surpluses every year? Even with the surplus,the GST is increased. This is the same method used by T.T.Durai of the NKF financial scandal.He had collected donations in surplus for 3 years. He was paid $600,000/ per annum though NKF was a charity, travelled first class on planes and even had gold taps in his office. Mrs. GCT said it was “peanuts” and HC said Durai should have converted the charity into a foundation to justify his salary. So we need a new party in government to clean out the hyenas especially the one sitting as CEO of a foundation,keeping her remuneration top secret.

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  • Relax:

    @”Perhaps, the best is yet to come from the Opposition. But, it will all depend whether any best candidates would boldly step out from the “woods”. As this might be likened to another hidden “sleeping dragon” Zhuge Liang is yet to be called upon by “mission of turbulent era at then” and by this decade.”

    Response: hero also needs someone with discerning eyes (慧眼识英雄).

    PAP got “times create hero” (时势造英雄)
    https://youtu.be/FVFT-tkzVGI

    So oppo needs a “hero creates times” (英雄造时势).

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  • Uncertain:

    Young people cannot be taken for granted.
    Look at what they do in Malaysia…even to old guy like Dr M.
    Better to fight hard for their every vote…

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