JOHOR BARU: The Opposition is formulating its strategies to engage with the 750,000 new voters who will be casting their ballots for the first time in the upcoming state polls, says Suhaizan Kayat.
The Johor Parti Amanah Negara vice-chairman said it was important for Pakatan Harapan parties to work together instead of trying to divide Opposition votes.
“This will be a huge voting bloc involving all 56 state constituencies,” Suhaizan, who is also state Speaker, said.
He said the fight this time was mainly between Barisan Nasional, Perikatan Nasional and Pakatan.
“We are already engaging with Muda (Malaysian United Democratic Alliance) and hope to work with them in the coming polls.
“If needs be, we are willing to give up some seats for Muda to contest, including seats allocated to Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia in the last election,” he said, adding that Amanah had held several discussions with Muda on the matter.
Suhaizan said every vote would be important and he hopes that the Election Commission would allow Malaysians in Singapore to become postal voters or allow for polling at the High Commission in the republic.
Johor DAP vice-chairman S. Ramakrishnan described the move to allow those above 18 to vote as “great news”.
“This is their right. Although those between 18 and 20 may not be political savvy, their views and ideas should be heard as they are the country’s future leaders.
“Barisan should not be overly confident of winning the state election as votes from young people could sway the outcome and even result in ‘status quo’,” he said, adding that in such a situation, it might result in political parties being forced to form a coalition to administer the state.
Ramakrishnan also said discussions were ongoing with Muda for the new party to contest in some seats.
Johor PKR deputy chief Jimmy Puah Wee Tse said the traditional approach in politics would not be much help when trying to engage with the new voters.
He said having younger voters was a good thing and that PKR would need to find the right strategy to connect with them.
“The new voters are divided into three groups – those who are 18, those above 18 but have yet to register as voters, and those who are above 18 but could not register themselves.
“So for those who are younger, we cannot use the traditional way to woo them. We need a better method to engage with them through social media, sports or esports,” he added.