State polls: Call for 30 per cent of candidates to be youth is unrealistic - experts

17 Jun 2023 08:30pm
(From Left-Right) Professor Datuk Dr Shamsul Amri Baharuddin, Oh Ei Sun, Professor Dr Syaza Shukri
(From Left-Right) Professor Datuk Dr Shamsul Amri Baharuddin, Oh Ei Sun, Professor Dr Syaza Shukri

SHAH ALAM - Barisan Nasional Youth's call for at least 30 per cent of the candidates of the coalition to be from the youth category to contest in the upcoming state elections is deemed unrealistic and greedy, analysts say.

Institut Kajian Etnik (KITA), Political Sociology, Professor Datuk Dr Shamsul Amri Baharuddin said that the request was made based on the assumption of an increase in Undi 18 and first-time voters, but the increase is less than 20 per cent in each constituency.

"Asking for 30 per cent youth candidates is unreasonable or selfish, whereas the old guard will comply but only up to 20 per cent," he added.

Moreover, Singapore Institute of International Affairs senior fellow Dr Oh Ei Sun said it was a desperate move by BN, which looked as if they were afraid of the green wave in the upcoming state elections.

"They still believe that young voters, particularly the Undi18 crowd, will prefer young candidates, despite the fact that the last general election showed that many young voters voted for the religiosity of the candidates or their parties instead of youth.

"They are likely to refuse even if it means ensuring that the younger candidates do not win, allowing them to keep those seats in the future.

"This would actually reduce BN's chances of winning," said Oh Ei Sun.

Meanwhile, International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM) Political Science Association Professor Dr Syaza Shukri said this move would encourage the party to nurture a new line of young leaders.

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"I see as a coalition that BN is willing to take more risks now because they don't have much to lose at the moment, and they continue to bring in the old guard like Tan Sri Mohd Isa Abdul Samad to show continuity," she added.

New faces demonstrate that BN is considering the needs of the populace and that it is responding to criticism of the "old men" in Malaysian politics.

"Malaysian voters continue to favour older candidates because they want to emulate the older generation," said Syaza.