Polls: Do not promise people the moon and stars during campaign

26 Jul 2023 09:11am
Voters are expecting realistic manifestos that meet the needs of the people and are certainly not just an offer. - FILE PIX
Voters are expecting realistic manifestos that meet the needs of the people and are certainly not just an offer. - FILE PIX

There are only a few days left before nomination day for the state polls in six states and the Kuala Terengganu by-election on July 29.

Most parties have already announced their candidates while some have decided to announce it a little later, which not only to those who aspire to be the 'Yang Berhormat' on the edge of their seat, but also to the people in the area.

Based on the list of names (candidates), many new faces are expected to provide fresher dimensions and ideas to the voters.

Barisan Nasional (BN), for example, featured 63 per cent of new candidates and announced that they would contest in 107 seats out of 245 state assemblies.

Of that number, about 60 per cent are considered new faces as they have never contested before, another 20 per cent are incumbents and the remaining 20 per cent are those who are referred to as recycled candidates including those who have contested, but lost.

Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim had named 58 candidates to compete in the upcoming elections with 41 new faces from the party while another 16 candidates are retained seat holders.

Some other parties had also taken a similar approach, but the finalised decision will of course be revealed on the nomination day which will determine the candidates who will actually be contesting on Aug 12.

Apart from the candidates, what is extremely anticpated is definitely the manifestos offered by parties to the voters.

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Most of the parties are in the final stages of preparation and certainly, they are supporting the interests of all segments of the society.

Based on statistics released by the Election Commission (EC), the majority of 9,773,571 voters eligible to vote in the state polls this time involved electorates between the age of 21 and 29.

Voters in this age range are 2,169,120 or 22.19 per cent followed by voters aged between 30 to 39 which make up 2,163,982 people or 22.14 per cent.

Voters aged 40 to 49 are as many as 1,695,876 people (17.35 per cent) followed by voters aged 50 to 59 which consist of 1,380,446 people (14.12 per cent) and a total of 1,035,257 voters aged between 60 to 69 (10.59 per cent).

Thus, the electorates' demographics are certainly taken into account when the competing parties were drafting their manifestos.

Terengganu Pas for example had presented 10 manifestos if the party managed to retain its administration following the election.

Among the offers are sponsoring contributions to the Social Security Organisation's (Socso) security scheme for housewives, providing loans for motorcycle purchases without interest of RM4,000 maximum and business development incentives for traders who open branches in Terengganu to further increase employment opportunities.

Regardless of the promises made, surely what voters are expecting is for the manifesto to be realistic and meet the needs of the people and certainly not just being ideally made to never be granted.

Despite the assumption by some parties that manifestos are no longer the main consideration in voting, there are voters who still see it as a promise that must be kept and a measure of performance for elected representatives and parties.

Therefore, they better not betray the voters with unreasonable offers and sweet promises until they end up being phobic of sweet-talking leaders.

They also better not blame the people when they start rebelling and demanding that the people's representatives fulfill those dreamy offers and promises.

The people are now mature enough to decide what is right or wrong, so politicians need to be ethical and smart to win the hearts of the people.

The manifestos need to be taken more seriously, not just as sweet promises, but can rather be legitimately implemented and reach the target groups.