PETALING JAYA: Batu Caves assemblyman Amirudin Shari is all set to vie for the PKR Youth chief's post in the party polls due in April even though he knows he is an underdog.
"I may be less exposed to the media because of my function in the party," he told The Star Online recently.
The two-term assemblyman joined PKR in 1999 and started his political career as Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim's secretary when the Mentri Besar was Selangor's liaison chairman.
He was then elected as a PKR Youth vice-president after serving as the wing's exco for a few years. He is now Selangor PKR secretary.
Amirudin is running against Seri Setia assemblyman Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad, who is better known and tipped to contest the post.
"Nik Nazmi is more popular. He started as the Selangor Mentri Besar's political secretary and now he is the state deputy speaker," said Amirudin.
The 34-year-old admitted that he was not as popular as other key leaders and under the media radar, even during protests, street demonstrations and political functions.
However, he said being popular with the grassroots is more important.
"This is not about a popularity contest, but about how we want to shape a strong and powerful youth organisation," said Amirudin.
"A Youth chief needs to work on good policies and develop the party, while gaining the support from the grassroots," he said.
Amirudin said if he were to become the next Youth chief, he would like to turn the movement into a significant force and learn from its past mistakes.
"Last election, the Youth wing in Pakatan Rakyat failed to grab the wishes of the majority of the youth.
"Some of our policies focused on middle- and upper-class groups but we failed to address the needs of 70% of the youth who did not even get further their tertiary education," he said.Nominations for the PKR polls are expected to be held in March, followed by the party election in April.