KOTA KINABALU: Sabah Chief Minister Musa Aman believes the ruling coalition must treat with care the “sensitive” first-time voters and youths to win in the 14th general election (GE14).
Speaking when launching Sabah BN Youth’s election machinery called “JR+” (Jalinan Rakyat Plus) here today, Musa said these voters were IT-savvy and had a critical mindset.
“In this upcoming election, 20% of the registered voters are first-timers,” said Musa.
“This segment of voters are inexperienced, mostly have not made up their minds, are still exploring things and are therefore easily influenced by the opposition’s propaganda.
“These young people mostly get their information from the internet and tend to critically analyse and assess any information they get.
“We have to be ready and careful in wooing this section of voters. We need to have an effective strategy to win their hearts.”
Musa, who is also Sabah BN liaison chairman, urged all components to bank on the coalition’s good track record but not to be overconfident.
“Sabah used to be the ‘little brother’ in Umno but now we’re the ‘big brother’.
“If we fail to be united, we’ll be weak, but fear not, we have a strong track record.
“We’ll continue to perform well, as shown by the comprehensive Budget 2018 unveiled recently, among other things.
“However, we must not take our unity for granted. We must be together, not only within our own party but also within BN.
“If others in the coalition succeed, we also succeed.”
Musa, who is also Sabah finance minister, called on BN components and members of the election machinery to be united in facing off challenges posed by the opposition.
“We have influence and experience but we’re facing so many challenges, propaganda and accusations from the opposition,” he said.
“We must be near and help the rakyat. We must work well with the other parties and wings. We must give the voters hope and belief that only this BN government can fulfil their hopes.
“This upcoming election will be the hardest ever but we will win if we are united.”
BN Youth chairman Khairy Jamaluddin, who attended the launch, refuted suggestions that non-Muslim Sabahans now favour the opposition.
“I was recently asked to comment on the alleged sentiment that non-Muslim Sabahans now lean more towards the opposition.
“I have to emphasise to you that this is only a supposition.
“BN is still the favourite for many people in the state but we must not be complacent.”
The Umno Youth chief urged members of the election machinery to smarten up to the politics of emotion played by the opposition.
“Rational people would vote for us because our performance has been proven.
“But the opposition likes to play emotional politics by sowing seeds of hate and dissatisfaction towards us.
“This is why this election machinery is important so that we can get close to the grassroots and we can make the people see the truth.”
Sabah BN Youth chief Yamani Hafez Musa said the state was the first in Malaysia to launch the JR+ election machinery.
“There’ll be over 6,700 members in this election machinery.
“We hope we can do ‘man-to-man marking’ with the rakyat in our pre-election work.
“The machinery members will be the eyes and ears of BN on the ground.”