KUALA LUMPUR, May 17 — Muar member of parliament Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman was surprised to see a dramatic increase in social media followers, especially on Instagram, during the recent 14th general election (GE14).
“The number of followers increased to over 700,000 compared to 150,000 previously ...which was quite phenomenal,” the Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (PPBM) Youth chief told Bernama after appearing as guest on Bernama News Channel (BNC) Nine 11 programme, here today.
The 25-year-old International Islamic University of Malaysia (IIUM) law graduate who won Asia’s Best Speaker awards in debating championships, attracted netizens when he was nominated to stand as Pakatan Harapan candidate under the PKR banner, at the recent GE.
His victory over the Muar parliamentary seat with a majority of 6,953 votes after defeating Datuk Seri Razali Ibrahim (BN-Umno) and PAS candidate Abdul Aziz Talib was a great achievement.
Syed Saddiq said that with the growing number of followers especially on social media, he now has to ensure that information uploaded are positive and beneficial to his followers.
According to Syed Saddiq he had turned down a scholarship to study at Oxford University, England to stay in politics as he wanted to play an important role in the Dewan Rakyat to raise issues related to education and the future of youths in this country.
He said the people’s acceptance of young leaders clearly showed that they wanted change as well as issues related to young people such as the National Higher Education Fund Corporation (PTPTN), the cost of living and no affordable homes be given emphasis in Parliament.
In addition to Syed Saddiq, a former student of the Royal Military College, other young Pakatan Harapan candidates who won in the recent general election were Batu MP Prabakaran, 22, and Johor Bahru MP Akmal Nasrullah Mohd Nasir, 32.
Syed Saddiq had pledged to ensure that young people in the country have a voice in the Malaysian political arena in rebuilding this beloved country.
“This includes the voice of Barisan Nasional (BN) youths to show a healthy, proactive and competitive political culture,” said Syed Saddiq whose mother is an English language teacher.
While Pakatan Harapan is now the ruling government Syed Saddiq hoped that the Barisan Nasional as the Opposition would play their role to provide check and balance.
He also hoped that Khairy Jamaluddin would take over the leadership in making BN a more youth-friendly opposition to create a healthy political environment in Malaysia.
Syed Saddiq became active in politics when he and 24 others who formed the group ‘Challenger’ (Change Led by the Young Generation) issued a statement rejecting Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s leadership following the 1MDB scandal in 2016.
He then joined PPBM and became the party’s spokesperson. — Bernama