The 2021 Melaka election is upon us, and today’s candidate reveal ceremony served up many eyebrow-raisers.
Of the 28 seats up for grabs, a staggering 112 candidates were named by the various parties vying for control of the state, with up to 6-corner fights in some constituencies.
Despite the ongoing objections by supporters inside (DAP) and outside (MUDA) of the formal alliance, Pakatan Harapan (PH) has seemingly closed ranks at the eleventh hour with the two UMNO defectors who triggered the elections, now officially revealed to be contesting under their shared banner.
As the power struggle ensues, the alliance’s struggles balancing principles and pragmatism goes beyond taking in ‘frogs’ or ‘party jumpers’.
Of the 28 candidates fielded by the coalition, only three are women – one each from PKR, DAP, and Amanah. It would not take a calculator to work out that 3/28 is a far cry from their ‘30% women’ pledge bandied about on previous campaign trails.
Similarly, PH has been criticised for the outright exclusion of youth party MUDA, despite months of public flirtations.
However, when asked about it over the weekend, PKR-supremo Anwar Ibrahim laid the blame on ‘technical problems’, possibly in reference to the youth party’s non-certification as a legitimate political party.
At this point, it would be easy to throw your hands up as a young person, and say the Melaka elections doesn’t concern you in the slightest.
Enter Farzana Hayani Mohd Nasir. The 21-year-old has been fielded by Anwar’s party as the PH candidate for Sungai Rambai.
It was reported that she is currently a first-year Bachelors Degree pursuer at UiTM Shah Alam, having completed her diploma studies only recently at the university’s Rembau campus.
Despite her tender years, she is purportedly no political greenhorn. Farzana is the current PKR Women’s Youth Wing leader for Melaka, as well as a ranking member of the party’s Students’ organisation.
While not much is publicly known of her prior to the announcement, the willingness of the party to field such a young candidate bodes well for the Gen Z and Millennial agenda in this country.
Indeed, with DAP also fielding 25-year-old Muhamad Danish Zainudin as PH’s candidate in Pengkalan Batu, maybe the youth will have some sway just yet.
Now they just have to win.