KUALA LUMPUR: Convincing youths with realistic promises will be a battlefield for politicians in the upcoming 14th General Election (GE14), says Prof Datuk Dr Adnan Hussein.

The Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) deputy vice-chancellor (Student Development and Alumni), said a survey had revealed that 20 to 30 per cent of fence sitters were mostly youths who are still undecided on their choice.

He said about 10 million people were in the age group of between 21 and 49 years and of the number, between five and six million have not made their choice

“This is a huge number and it is also a challenge for the media and political parties to target this group because they are the ones who use traditional media (newspapers and television) the least,” he said.

He said this to Bernama after a media and communications forum ahead of the 14th General Election (GE-14) organised by the Malaysian Press Institute (MPI) and the Malaysian Communication Educators Association here yesterday.

Quoting a study by a non-governmental organisation, Organisation for National Empowerment (ONE) which focuses on young people, Dr Adnan said the key issues raised were those related to their future including employment and development opportunities.

“The youngsters are idealistic and they do not like rhetoric promises. They are more concerned about the future of the country and they want to hear and listen to messages that could convince them about the future,” he said.

Therefore, Dr Adnan said it was important for political parties to capture their thoughts and the Barisan Nasional (BN) came up with the Transformasi Nasional 2050 (TN50) which was intended to hear the voices of the youths, while the opposition organised activities to engage young people.

Furthermore, Dr Adnan said with today’s heterogeneous society it was crucial for media practitioners and politicians to create targeted messages on the right medium to ensure effective communication.

Originally published on Bernama on Friday April 6, 2018.