Nominate young candidates to contest in elections

Ammar Redza (political analyst)


KUCHING: Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) should nominate capable young candidates to contest in the next general election.

Political analyst Dr Ammar Redza Ahmad Rizal said this would be in tandem with plans by the political parties to form new wings to cater for the younger generation,

“If the 15th General Election (GE-15) is too soon, perhaps they can come up with a roadmap to at least have 20 per cent of candidates from the age group of 18 to 28 years in the 16th General Election (GE-16).

“Only then will Sarawakians trust the determination of GPS in championing issues related to youth and political participation,” said the academician from Universiti Malaysia Sarawak’s (UNIMAS) Faculty of Language and Communication.

He pointed out that historically, many of the current leaders had joined politics and been elected as representatives at a young age.

For instance, he said Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg was first elected as a representative at the age of 31.

“Thus, the big question now for both Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP) and other GPS component parties is not the formation of new youth wings specifically for the Undi18 generation but also on their determination to include younger politicians in the frontline,” he said.

He said this when prompted for comments on SUPP’s plan to amend its constitution to set up two new wings to cater for the Undi18 generation.

Earlier, PBB president Abang Johari had also revealed that the party would establish a new wing for members aged 18 to 28 years, with this to be realised after an amendment to PBB’s constitution is passed during the party’s triennial general meeting in June.

Ammar fully supported SUPP’s decision to follow in PBB’s footsteps in this regard and hoped that all component parties within GPS would follow suit in establishing new wings for the Undi18 generation.

“I really hope that maybe in the next GE-15, GPS could push for several young candidates to contest.

“If they win, GPS could push for them to become candidates in the federal cabinet,” he said.

He stressed that strengthening the youth division was paramount as this would help the sustainability and stability of the inner political circle.

“If attention is lacking in this area, there could be a possibility for a power vacuum to occur, which will jeopardise GPS or SUPP’s position in Sarawak politics,” he said.

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