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Shift of Malay, youth votes to PN 'may not last long' – Free Malaysia Today

PETALING JAYA: A political analyst believes it is still too early to conclude that Perikatan Nasional is now the party of choice among the Malay community and young voters because of the significant inroads made in the general election last month.
Council of Professors fellow Jeniri Amir said a number of factors, including PN’s strong presence on TikTok, might be the cause of a shift of votes to PN from Barisan Nasional
PN dominated TikTok but in Malay seats, BN’s choice of candidates and sabotage from within its ranks could have also caused the shift, he said.
“We also cannot overlook the fact that PN was very successful in positioning itself as a ‘cleaner’ alternative to BN and Pakatan Harapan and this helped it grab the Malay and youth votes.”
The November general election was the first in which Umno, long considered the most dominant Malay party, failed to win a parliamentary seat in Kelantan, Terengganu, Melaka, Selangor, Kedah, Penang and Perlis.
However it remains to be seen whether this trend would continue in the state assembly elections in Selangor, Penang, Negeri Sembilan, Kedah, Kelantan and Terengganu next year.
“Parliamentary and state assembly elections are different. BN dominated in the Melaka elections last year but failed to win a single parliamentary seat last month,” he told FMT.
With PH and BN now part of a unity government, they would have an advantage in facing the state elections.
PN’s superb use of TikTok
Oh Ei Sun of the Singapore Institute of International Affairs said PN had used TikTok to its advantage to secure youth votes.
“TikTok is understandably the most influential platform among the younger voters. The use of visually alluring influencers spouting catchy religious or racialist remarks was clever,” he told FMT.
Even without TikTok, the coalition did well to attract support from conservative voters because of its religious appeal thanks to PAS.
“There were voters who were repelled by Umno and PH,” he said. “Umno was portrayed by PN as being corrupt, and PH as being liberal, so they voted for PN.”
Political analyst Mazlan Ali said TikTok was the main source of political information for many young voters.
“PN managed their social media, especially TikTok, very well compared to other political parties,” said Mazlan, of Universiti Teknologi Malaysia.
PN was thus able to gain the votes of those who were more focused on racial and religious issues.
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