Sabah polls: BN, PN harnessing power of social media



TAWAU (Sept 14): Barisan Nasional (BN) and Perikatan Nasional (PN) are utilising social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter in the battle for the hearts and minds of voters in the 16th Sabah state election.
Social media have assumed a more important role this time around because of the need to use communication technology to reach out to voters in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The BN candidate in Tanjung Batu, Andy Muhammad Suryady Bandy, said his campaign machinery was targeting the technology-savvy group especially the younger set who chose not to attend the open ceramah due to the standard operating procedure (SOP) imposed.
“We want to campaign but at the same time we want to curb the spread of COVID-19, and because of the constraints we have to limit attendance at meetings and ceramah to 250 per session,” he told Bernama here today.
He said the BN campaign team would abide by the SOP and seek the help of its allies PAS and Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) in the Kalabakan division to reach more voters.
“Kalabakan PAS and Bersatu are very supportive of our bid to retain the seat for BN and PN,” said Andy Muhammad, the Kalabakan UMNO division chief, who is facing a six-cornered contest. 
Meanwhile, the PN candidate in Apas, Datuk Nizam Abu Bakar Titingan, said he also found social media handy although he tried his best to meet voters through house-to-house campaign.
“We follow the protocol on physical distancing; I will work as usual by always going to the ground to meet the people. My relationship with the residents of Apas is good,” said Nizam, who is defending the seat in a four-way battle.
Yesterday, Tawau recorded 26 new positive COVID-19 cases, bringing the cumulative cases in the district to 320, mostly from the Benteng LD Cluster.



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