AFTER the disastrous 15th General Election (GE15) of Nov 19, which saw a ‘green tide’ or rather a ‘teal tsunami,’ as experts from Singapore think tanks put it, it is now more than ascertained that there is a possible long-term shift in voting patterns in Malaysia.
According to the analysts, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin was more appealing to the #UNDI18 voter bank than leaders like Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim or Deputy PM Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.
The preliminary analysis of the voting patterns by age groups and ethnic groups in the GE15 is troubling.
It indicates that both Pakatan Harapan (PH) and Barisan Nasional (BN) must work harder to gain the trust of the younger generations, who will make up the majority of voters for the foreseeable future.
They face a daunting task, and I believe the performance of the unity government will determine the future of both the PH and the BN in the eyes of younger voters.
Back to the Singapore Straits Times analysis, it confirmed that youth votes, or a large majority of them, went to PN because of Muhyiddin.
FocusM was told a percentage of students at local universities voted for the PN because they trusted Muhyiddin more than ex-PM Ismail Sabri Yaakob, whom they saw as less efficient than the PN leader.
They also saw Zahid as a difficult choice because of this court cases. The jailing of fallen former M Datuuk Seri Najib Razak had an immense effect on the vote against UMNO, according to the analysts.
But it is a lack of a lack of knowledge about Anwar struggle in the late 1990s that got the #UNDI18 target to chose Muhyiddin over both BN and PH.
According to Singaporean analysts, PN received more votes for the following reasons:
UNDI18, which was thought to be a very pro-PH move, became a super PN winner because many young people have no idea what Anwar represents. They were too young to remember Anwar’s struggle during the “reformasi” period.
Many first-time young voters recognised Muhyiddin because he was the former PM who handled the COVID-19 crisis. He is also seen as the man who handed ‘goodies’ during the lockdowns, the analysts told FocusM.
During the election campaign, TikTok influencers, religious influencers helped reversed the trend in favour of PN, crediting the PNs message to the younger generation as the main factor for the shift in youth votes.
Furthermore, young voters’ support for PN may be a protest vote against UMNO’s corruption. — Dec 18, 2022