Tough to woo outside voters, says PKR Youth chief

PKR candidate Anwar Ibrahim greets stall owners at a market in Port Dickson today. Although campaigning is well underway in the constituency, there are fears that voters outside of Port Dickson will not return for polling day. (Bernama pic)

PORT DICKSON: PKR Youth chief Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad today acknowledged that it would be difficult to persuade overseas voters and those outside Port Dickson to return to vote on polling day this Saturday.

He added that it would be hard to ensure a voter turnout similar to that of the May 9 general election.

“The mood is different, and there are problems such as having to take a day off to come back.

“If we are able to get a 70% voter turnout, this would be the best result compared to Sungai Kandis, Balakong and Seri Setia,” he told reporters at the PKR operations room here.

Almost 5,000 voters are based outside of Negeri Sembilan, in Selangor, Kuala Lumpur, Johor and Melaka, while 5,389 are based in Seremban.

Nik Nazmi said they had identified 11,070 voters who do not reside in Port Dickson.

“This does not include those who live and work in Singapore,” he added.

However, he said PKR had begun utilising non-conventional methods to engage with voters outside of Port Dickson.

“We have already started the robocall, an automated calling system with the candidate’s voice pre-recorded,” he said, referring to PKR president-elect Anwar Ibrahim.

“We will also launch a video by PKR Youth, calling voters to come back and vote. Our hope is to ensure that Anwar will gain a comfortable majority.”

Asked about the percentage of early voting, Nik Nazmi said 63% was good.

“If we look at the 14th general election, early voting here was 74.8%, or 5,308

“This time it decreased a little, as expected. But 63% is good,” he added.

The Port Dickson by-election was triggered after its MP Danyal Balagopal Abdullah stepped down to make way for Anwar, who is attempting a parliamentary comeback.