Muda’s decision not to contest the Melaka polls marks a lost opportunity for the fledgling political party, as it could have tested its appeal with voters and split votes in some contests.
The party, which has yet to be registered, could have fielded independent candidates and might even have beaten some rivals, an analyst said.
Muda founder and pro tem president Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman could have taken the risk to field candidates just to test the field, said Ahmad Fauzi Abdul Hamid, a political science professor at Universiti Sains Malaysia.
“Muda could then see how many votes it could command. If the candidates lost their deposit, that’s a sacrifice they would have to endure, especially if they are the new kids on the block,” he said.
Yesterday, Barisan Nasional, Pakatan Harapan and Perikatan Nasional announced their candidates for the state election.
However, Syed Saddiq said Muda would not put up any candidate because of PH’s decision to field two former Umno assemblymen.
Muda had previously said the election was an avenue for them to change the political landscape with new faces focused on policies and service to the rakyat and concentrating on multiracial and moderate politics.
Ahmad Fauzi said Muda’s participation might have attracted young voters and could have played a role in splitting votes in multi-cornered fight.
Jeniri Amir, a fellow with the National Council of Professors, said Muda should have contested the election by fielding independent candidates, not only to test how well they will be received but also to “learn about elections”.
He said this was especially crucial ahead of the next general election as it would give Muda time to identify its shortcomings and work on improving them.
He also said Muda should have risen above the fact that PH chose to field the former Umno members Idris Haron (Sungai Udang) and Nor Azman Hassan (Pantai Kundor), stating that it was not a strong enough reason to forgo the polls.
“Why is that a justification? That’s just a lame excuse to show that they are not confident to face the people. Muda, as an independent entity, has nothing to do with that alliance (PH).