- Advertisement -

Muda not strong enough to go it alone, analysts say as youth party parts ways with PH

They say Muda is still a new party and does not have what it takes to capture the youth vote alone.

Ahmad Mustakim Zulkifli
3 minute read
Muda president Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman (fifth from right) with other party leaders and members. Photo: Bernama
Muda president Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman (fifth from right) with other party leaders and members. Photo: Bernama

Analysts have questioned Muda's decision to go solo at the elections looming in six states, saying the youth-based party lacks the grassroots support to take on more established coalitions such as Pakatan Harapan (PH), Barisan Nasional (BN), and Perikatan Nasional (PN). 

Speaking to MalaysiaNow, Rabi'ah Aminudin said Muda was still considered a new party and did not have what it takes to capture the youth vote. 

"Muda may need more time to strengthen its grassroots force, even among the youth," Rabi'ah, of the International Islamic University of Malaysia, added. 

Muda president and founder Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman recently announced that the party would contest under its own banner at the state elections in Selangor, Penang, Kedah, Kelantan, Terengganu, and Negeri Sembilan.

While Muda forged an electoral understanding with PH in facing the general election last year, ties between the two parties appear to have taken a downturn since, with barbs traded on a number of issues including the littoral combat ship (LCS) controversy and the allocation of seats in Selangor. 

The party's information chief Luqman Long also took to Twitter to criticise Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim's move to hold Raya open houses in the election-facing states, while its deputy president Amira Aisya urged Anwar to apologise for joking about asking a Form Six student for her phone number. 

Muda was founded following Syed Saddiq's departure from Bersatu, which is currently a component of PN. 

Syed Saddiq himself recently affirmed his loyalty to PH despite the backlash against his bid to debate the LCS project in Parliament. 

However, he was recently reported as saying that Muda would go it alone as the government's principles had changed.

He also said that Muda would campaign online as well as face-to-face, to avoid depending on political funders. 

Observer Mak Khuin Weng said Muda might have had no choice but to contest using its own logo. 

"It shows that they have no budget to still put themselves on the ballot," he said. 

"It just means that they could not score any concessions with PH. But who will know that they are contesting if they do not put up their flags?" he added, referring to Muda's plan for an online campaign. 

Mazlan Ali of Universiti Teknologi Malaysia meanwhile said Muda had performed poorly at the last two elections. 

"It's been proven that Muda has no influence in Johor," he said, referring to the only seat it had secured out of the six contested at the state election. 

"The same goes for the last general election, where Muda failed to win the support of the youth." 

Muda fielded six candidates at the general election last year. However, Syed Saddiq was the only victor, managing to retain his seat in Muar. 

Mazlan also questioned the extent to which the Undi 18 vote would go to Muda over the more established youth wings of PKR and PAS. 

"Giving Muda a chance means competition for PKR Youth," he said. 

"On the other hand, Muda cannot compete with PAS when it comes to youth with strong Islamic backgrounds." 

Rabi'ah meanwhile said that the youth appeared set in their decisions on supporting either PN or PH-BN. 

"Muda going solo will not have any meaningful impact," she said.