PKR touts newer, younger faces for GE

By Shazwan Mustafa Kamal, The Malaysian Insider

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 22 — PKR will field fresher, young candidates for the next general election with a set criterion that aspiring lawmakers must have a solid educational background — they must be either qualified professionals or semi-professionals.

PKR secretary-general Saifuddin Nasution told The Malaysian Insider this was PKR’s “new niche” or formula for the 13th general election where younger, qualified candidates will eventually replace some of the incumbent parliamentary and state representatives.

“We will be putting up younger, skilful candidates with no political baggage,” said the Machang MP.

The Malaysian Insider understands that the PKR national leadership has begun talks with incumbent lawmakers with regards to allowing “new blood” to take over some seats. It is also learnt that some representatives have expressed “willingness” to allow the process to take place.

“Party leaders have started talking to incumbents informally, it won’t be that easy but the process will take place,” Saifuddin (picture) said.

He remained optimistic about PKR’s survival and future in Malaysian politics despite the fact that the 12-year old Pakatan Rakyat (PR) coalition party has seen its fair share of controversies, with as many as five MP defections last year as well as a fractious attempt at direct party elections

“Since this year, we have been recruiting, and have been receiving applications from young aspiring candidates, some already members and some new members, with as many as seven to eight interested candidates per constituency.