KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 2 — The inclusion of youth-led Malaysian United Democratic Alliance (Muda) in the Pakatan Harapan (PH) coalition could prompt PH parties to field more young candidates, Muda president Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman reportedly said.
He told online news portal Free Malaysia Today that his party was not out to seize seats from DAP, PKR and Amanah but instead complement the PH coalition’s Youth wings.
“We are hoping all Opposition parties will start fielding a lot more young and fresh candidates,” he was quoted as saying, adding that prior to the current situation, only a small number of seats had been reserved for younger candidates.
“I see it as something complementary, where we can compete with one another to ensure young people in all parties get a better place and better say in shaping Malaysian politics.”
In the interview published today, he also said it would be easier for the Youth wings of other political parties to demand greater recognition for young candidates if Muda was part of PH.
Young candidates were more likely to receive greater recognition, regardless of political party, if Muda was seen as part of PH, he reportedly added.
He also reportedly expressed hopes that the shift to empower youth would not stop at younger candidates but also grow to include those with more challenging ideas.
He reportedly said that even Umno had fielded young candidates for the Melaka state assembly elections last November.
“So even without us contesting, all parties realise there’s a need to reset the list of candidates instead of fielding the same old warlords who have dominated Malaysia’s political landscape for decades,” he was quoted as saying.
On Friday, a joint statement by top leaders from Muda and PH’s seat negotiations committee announced that official discussions had begun over the possibility of initiating Muda as a PH component member.
“This reflects a serious effort between PH and Muda to unite and galvanise the people’s aspirations and voice at the 15th general election (GE15). The discussion was smooth and positive. Issues that were raised will be conveyed to the top leadership at the presidential council meeting that is to take place in the near future,” the statement read.
The discussions are expected to halt the months-long suspicion and public squabbling between the two sides and to aid the Opposition in realising its pursuit for a unified bloc to stand against the Umno-led ruling coalition.
Muda’s leaders sought to join PH earlier this month to avoid clashing with fellow federal Opposition parties in GE15 as its deputy Amira Aisya Abd Aziz said that two sides had more in common than disagreement ideologically.