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Friday, December 31, 2021

Khairy sees Muda as a serious rival in battle for young voters


Umno's Rembau MP Khairy Jamaluddin sees the Malaysian United Democratic Alliance (Muda), which recently received the green light from the High Court to be registered as a political party, as a tough rival in capturing young voters.

The former Umno Youth chief said this is based on his personal experience as young voters did not support BN and Umno in the last general election due to the current issues at the time.

"We want to avoid this thing from happening again (in the next general election)," he said in a live-streamed interview programme entitled "Covid Dilemma and Politics” yesterday.

"The Undi18 is a very serious phenomenon and needs to be taken seriously, especially by the Youth and Puteri wings.

"Muda, a new youth-centric political party, will pose a serious competition to us among those aged between 18 and 30.

"The Youth and Puteri wings should get close to the young people and identify (young) icons to be fielded as candidates in the elections," Khairy said.

Undi18 refers to the lowering of the voting age from 21 to 18.

Muda was formed by Muar MP Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman (photo, above), who was the youth and sports minister during the 22-month Pakatan Harapan administration.

A young Umno icon - Paya Besar MP Mohd Shahar Abdullah

Expelled from Bersatu in May 2020, Syed Saddiq established Muda four months later.

"We must be serious in heading in that direction. Last time, we asked for more young candidates, but we couldn't get them.

"I look at this as a possible weakness (in Umno). We simply do not have enough young icons. What we have is (Paya Besar MP) Mohd Shahar Abdullah and Umno information chief Shahril Hamdan. That's all I can remember," Khairy said.

"But I saw a positive development in the Malacca state polls as our young candidates received solid support from the voters," he said, adding that candidates who are young and professionals resonated with the young voters.

He then referred to 33-year-old Muhamad Akmal Saleh, who won a three-cornered fight in Merlimau with a majority of 3,248 votes.

Khairy said Umno should promote more young politicians in the next general election. - Mkini

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