SABAH POLLS | Sabahans will go to the polls in less than 24 hours. If you thought the competition was heating up before, you’re about to see them reach fever pitch.
Party election machineries are working overtime to ensure their chosen candidates will also become the ones favoured by voters. But is their campaign geared towards winning the hearts of a particularly important group of voters?
According to the Election Commission (EC), 73 seats will be contested in this state election while 1,124,598 have registered as voters. Of that figure, nearly 40 percent are aged between 21 and 39 years old.
It is evident that the age group often labelled as young and raw now wields the power to decide the leadership of the Bornean state.
An online survey carried out on Bernama’s social media platforms asked whether more from the younger generation should be given the chance to represent in Sabah.
Read more: The who's who is the Sabah 2020 election
EC data showed that 69 of 447 candidates in this state election are aged 39 years old and below.
On Bernama's official Twitter page, 87.2 percent of 979 respondents agreed that it was the way to go.
Only 3.3 percent disagreed while the 9.5 percent did not find the issue concerning.
The same survey ran on Bernama’s Instagram which drew 1,723 responses.
Of the figure, 89 percent or 1,534 respondents want more youths to take the mantle.
Only 11 percent or 190 respondents doubted the capability of youths in leading the state, as indicated in the four-day survey that started on Sept 21.
Twitter user "Santikeyme" said that at the moment, the only youth voices heard in Sabah were those from political families.
“What do the politicians care of our grievances, they are all millionaires. Their children run their companies, some have even become YB (Yang Berhormat),” he commented.
Instagram user Beatricecia Joseph said what Sabah youths needed to see was a light at the end of the tunnel – be it for education, Internet access or job opportunities.
“Whoever it is that will be helming the state’s leadership should assume a proactive role in ensuring basic necessities like education, job opportunities and Internet access for the locals remain the top priority.
“We often cry out the slogan “Sabah maju” (progress for Sabah). I hope it’s not purely rhetorical,” she added.
Malaysiakini is currently providing stories on the Sabah polls for free. Continue to support Malaysiakini and independent journalism by subscribing for as little as RM20 per month.
Follow Malaysiakini's coverage of the Sabah state election here.