Young Malaysians a formidable voting bloc

LETTERS: The passing of the Undi18 legislation in 2019, which lowered the minimum voting age from 21 to 18, has given young people a greater voice in the democratic process.

This has led to a surge in the number of young people who can vote and who are participating in the political process.

The rise of social movements that pushed for the bill to be passed shows how eager young people are to take part in the decision-making process.

Young activists are now focused on getting people out to vote, especially in rural areas that rarely see a high voter turnout.

Diverse campaigns by groups like YPolitics.my, which are mostly online and not linked to political parties, aim to mobilise first-time voters and inform them about the voting process, politics and the issues at stake.

The youth's active involvement in volunteerism and community-building initiatives during the Covid-19 pandemic and the 2021 year-end floods indicates that there is potential to translate social welfare interest into high voter turnout.

It is important to encourage young people to participate in the democratic process. They need to be given space, support and opportunities to express their opinions, demand their rights, criticise weaknesses and offer solutions.

They need to be exposed to truthful, balanced and ethical information about political issues that concern them.

Young Malaysians have become a formidable political force. They can become the harbingers of democratic consolidation in the country. They care about democracy and are working hard to ensure their voices are heard.


Universiti Sains Islam Malaysia

The views expressed in this article are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect those of the New Straits Times

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