Opposition supporters frustrated by coalition's disunity: PKR youth chief

SHAH ALAM: Opposition supporters in the previous general election are frustrated, angry and dissatisfied with the various "developments" befalling the coalition, PKR youth chief Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad (pix) admitted.

He said such developments were considered a major tragedy to the opposition, especially considering the coalition's potential for a transition of power for the first time since the country's independence.

He added the opposition could no longer give reasons such as weaknesses in the election system to justify its failure, but instead must honestly admit its own weaknesses.

"The opposition mentality that is still thick has caused us to fail in managing our differences maturely, and this gives the perception as if we are not ready to govern (the country)," he said in his policy speech at the PKR youth National Congress at IDCC today.

Although Nik Nazmi did not specifically mention the issues faced by the opposition, it is understood that his speech was directed at the disunity among opposition parties caused by the departure of PAS.

The 13th General Election saw the opposition, contesting under the Pakatan Rakyat banner, consolidating more state and parliament seats and pushing the ruling Barisan Nasional to the edge of the Malaysian political spectrum.

The departure of PAS and the breakup of Pakatan Rakyat in 2015 however caused uncertainty, especially with PAS's recent decision to sever its ties with PKR despite both being in a coalition government in Selangor.

Nik Nazmi also noted that many were left uncertain when Pakatan Harapan decided to take in Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (PPBM), a splinter of Umno, as part of the opposition coalition.

He however stressed that changes in politics could only be done with many compromises.

"If we fail to focus and continue to find existing differences, we have actually chosen to lose at the early stage," he added.

Nik Nazmi also said it was high time for the Federal Constitution to be amended to reduce the legal age of voting to 18 years as compared to the current age of 21.

"This has been the practice of many developed democracies. Even in Indonesia, the voting age is set at 17 years old," he said.

"In Malaysia, a citizen is considered an adult at 18. They can be involved in agreements, drive and get married at that age," he added.