SHAH ALAM, May 11 — Candidate for PKR’s deputy presidency, Rafizi Ramli, said today that the party and its allies in Pakatan Harapan (PH) would need to do two things to gain the upper hand at the next general election.

The first would be to “convert” the 5 to 10 per cent of fence-sitters who voted for Perikatan Nasional (PN) during the last four state elections.

The second would be to convince the 5 to 10 per cent of so-called jaded voters who sat out the same state elections to head to the polling station and cast their ballot.

The former Pandan MP concluded that this formula should work so long as the number of voters backing Barisan Nasional (BN) remained the same.

Rafizi, who is the founder of the data analytics company Invoke, added that PKR needs a better approach to convince these two groups to back them, saying party leaders must take notice of and identify the problems experienced by these voters.

“I believe that these two groups could contribute to us being the biggest bloc in a three-way fight.

“One of the reasons the voters shifted their ballots to PN or did not come out at all to vote is they feel the party (PKR) no longer has its finger on the pulse of the people and that party leaders are reliant on leaders (MPs) jumping over from elsewhere for support,” he said during a debate with his rival for the post Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution Ismail today.

As for courting youth and first-time voters, Rafizi said traditionally, this demographic tends to vote for those in power due to a general lack of understanding of politics and familiarity with the powers-that-be.

He added that PH and PKR should instead think outside the existing political framework to reach out to them.

“That is why we launched the ‘Ayuh Malaysia’ movement. We can approach this segment through issues such as salaries, renewable technology and TVET, among others,” he said.

PKR elections will be held in stages from state to state from May 17 to 22.