Malaysian political parties gear up for next general election

PETALING JAYA – The mighty grassroots of Malaysia’s political parties are all geared up to roll out their election machinery for the 15th General Election (GE15), especially in their power bases in the divisions and branches.

Besides electoral activities, there are also nearly eight million new voters to woo and the year-end monsoon floods to prepare for.

MCA Youth chief Nicole Wong said the election machinery at the youth level is ready and they are now in the final stage of strengthening the election machinery in all divisions.

“The youth election machinery is on standby and will start mobilising support from the voters whenever Parliament is dissolved,” she said on Tuesday.

Datuk Wong said social media will be the battlefield for MCA Youth. Engaging with youth is crucial, she added, as the Election Commission (EC) has predicted that the lowered voting age from 21 to 18 along with automatic voter registration will add another 7.8 million voters to the electoral roll, representing a more than 50 per cent increase in voters from the last polls in 2018.

“We’ve begun setting up accounts on social media platforms, which will be our main focus to reach young voters. We will try to effectively address core issues affecting the youth and engage them on social media,” she said.

Umno Youth is also ready for the polls. Its chief, Asyraf Wajdi Dusuki, said preparations at its 191 divisions are at a satisfactory level. Datuk Asyraf, who is also Barisan Nasional Youth chief, said the youth machinery is ready to move anytime the polls are called.

Meanwhile, PKR’s Selangor Youth chief Izuan Kasim said the wing was prepared for the possibility of an election as early as February 2020, when the so-called Sheraton Move of Feb 2020 saw the Pakatan Harapan (PH) government toppled less than two years after its electoral win.

Since then, the political situation in the country had been shaky and a snap election was expected, he said, adding that to win first-time voters and fence-sitters, the state youth wing will be fielding fresh faces.

“We will also deliver the information to the Selangor people on how success has been achieved since the time the Pakatan Rakyat (now Pakatan Harapan) coalition took over the state’s administration,” he said.

However, he added that there is no need for the government to hold the polls this year, especially when the country is facing the threat of floods.

Mr Izuan also said Selangor PKR Youth has been receiving assistance from the central party leadership in terms of election strategies as well as polling and counting agent (PACA) programmes.