Marred by political apathy, how will Undi18 and AVR effect Johor polls?

11 Mar 2022 11:50am
With some 750,000 new voters coming into the electoral role for Johor, how far will AVR and Undi18 impact the election? - Bernama Photo.
With some 750,000 new voters coming into the electoral role for Johor, how far will AVR and Undi18 impact the election? - Bernama Photo.

JOHOR BAHRU - With the inclusion of Undi18 and the automatic voter registration (AVR) in the play for the state election, political parties are going all out to woo youth voters to come out and vote.

While both electoral initiatives will see some 750,000 new voters into state elections, questions still remain whether these voters, especially some 175,000 voters between the age of 18 to 21 will come out and vote.

Muhd Amirul Kamarulzaman, 19, said he is excited to be part of the election process, even though he has no idea who he should vote for.

“Honestly I'm more excited to see what the process is like rather than wanting to vote for parties. I have been watching TikTok the past couple of days on how to vote but it is filled with so many weird posting and political messages.

“I might as well try the process for real and do my own TikTok about it,’’ said Muhd Amirul in jest.

The Batu Pahat local said many of his peers are also excited to come out and vote but they too are not entirely interested in which party to vote for.

“It's not that we don’t know but every party seems similar or just about the same. Hard for us to make choices if everyone ends up taking us for granted,’’ he said.

Another first-time voter, M.Mathew, 20, said the state election has opened his eyes to how the electoral process and how crucial his vote is for this election.

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“I will definitely come out and vote. I love seeing young people in action and what they can bring to the table. Rather than look at the party, I want to evaluate the candidates.

“It's also fun to see my friends volunteering for political parties here. Some with PH some with Muda some with PKR, looking at them makes me feel inspired to do my party,’’ said Mathew when met at a PH ceramah held in Puteri Wangsa.

Another first-time voter, Who only wished to be known as Rahimi, 20 said he will give the Johor polls a miss this time around.

Citing disinterest in politics, Rahimi stated that he and his peers are mostly adopting a "wait and see" approach"

"It's a lot of noise but I personally don't see how I can benefit from participating, at least not yet.

"Yes I'm fully aware this will determine the government for the next five years but everyone seems to say the same thing Im not moved by what they could offer,'' he said.

While youth voters is largely seem more eaer to participate in the electoral process, elderly voters however seem to take a more laid back approach would rather weigh their options.

Speaking to Sinar Daily, a 73-year-old Perling voter who wished to be known as KC Lim said he is not entirely compelled to go out and vote tomorrow.

"The last time I voted was in 2004 in Muar. I have then moved to Perling and not updated my address to the EC but when I checked the EC website last month, my name was already listed here.

"I'm not sure whether I will come out and vote because I generally lost interest in politics after Pak Lah stepped down. Politics seems like a young men's game so to speak but I could still just come out and vote tomorrow, so who knows,'' he said referring to former prime minister Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.

For Kampung Parit Madrono resident 66-year-old who only wished to be known as Mohd Sujangi said he has never voted in his entire life and would rather stay that way.

This is despite his name being already registered to vote under the state seat of Benut.

"Last month my son checked for me and my name was listed as a registered voter here. Every one of my family laughed when they saw my name as I have never voted.

"To be fair, I have never seen an elected official come into my Kampung, why would they, it is in the middle of nowhere,'' he said.

But Mohd Sujangi expressed hope that any party that takes over administration of the state look towards developing the central and northern part of Johor.

"But regardless of who wins, I hope they can at least take care of the welfare of the state properly. They should look at developing the rest of Johor, not just Johor Bahru.

"My children are having a hard time getting proper jobs here. Some have to travel all the way to Perak for work. So it is a shame if they aren't able to help their own people,'' he said.