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COMMENT | Pamu - the non-voters all parties should fear

COMMENT | The largest party in the upcoming 15th general election (GE15) may not be BN or Pakatan Harapan but the non-voters or what I call ‘Parti Aku Malas Undi’ (I’m Lazy To Vote Party) or Pamu.

As in the Johor (March 12, 2022) and Malacca (Nov 20, 2021) state elections, Pamu constituted a respective 45 percent and 34 percent of the voters there.

More than ‘lazy’, ‘malas’ in Malay can mean ‘reluctant’ or ‘disinterested’. Their reluctance and disinterest should be recognised and addressed.

To be accurate, non-voters are larger than Pamu, as some abstentions may be caused by circumstantial reasons, and may even be the outcome of vote suppression.

Instead of scientifically separating the disinterested and involuntary non-voters, here I conveniently lump them together to draw public attention to address both political apathy and vote suppression.

So, no, this is not a derogatory term as some moralists might unwittingly or intentionally misinterpret. Recognising voters’ right to not vote and reducing abstention can be complementary, and not at all contradicting...

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