GE15: Young voters thrilled to vote for the first time

19 Nov 2022 05:24pm
Their fervent hope to see their elected representatives helm the country's administration was shown by their early presence at the polling station. - Bernama Photo
Their fervent hope to see their elected representatives helm the country's administration was shown by their early presence at the polling station. - Bernama Photo
KUALA LUMPUR - Excitement and thrill are clearly seen on the faces of young voters aged 18 and above as they dip their index finger in the indelible ink bottle to cast their ballot for the first time in the 15th general election (GE15) nationwide.

Their fervent hope to see their elected representatives helm the country's administration was shown by their early presence at the polling station with friends, siblings and family members.

Aqilah Azreen, 18, who arrived at Sekolah Kebangsaan Taman Maluri at 8.37 am today shared her joy of finally being able to exercise her civic duty as a Malaysian despite having to vote in the pouring rain.

"I am excited because I have never voted before. As I was going out to vote, my parents advised me to make the right choice and put a cross properly on the ballot paper," she told Bernama.

A student from Datuk Razali Ismail Institute of Teacher Education (IPG) Terengganu campus, Ahmad Izzuddin Abd Rahman, 20, said he voted at Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Peramu Jaya, Pahang and was already queuing at the polling station as early as 7.30 am.

Accompanied by a friend, Ahmad Izzuddin expressed his pride and relief at being able to fulfil his responsibility to the country.

"I hope that my voice will steer Malaysia to a better direction, Insya Allah (God willing)," he said.

The same enthusiasm was shared by four siblings K. Ganesh Kumar, 20, K. Divya Karasi, 21, and their sisters K. Salini Devi, 29, and K. Sundara Darshini, 28, who cast their votes at the Chong Hwa Private High School polling centre in Jalan Ipoh here.

They were present together at the polling station to vote for the Batu parliamentary seat.
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"I did my research on the candidates contesting for the seat before choosing a credible and worthy candidate. I hope the chosen candidate can help the community," said Divya, who also shared that he felt nervous when she saw the list of names on the nomination paper.

Meanwhile, Ganesh said that he could not sleep well yesterday because he could not wait to vote today.

"I was awakened two or three times and I kept looking at the clock to see it was time to get up to go to the polling station with my sisters," said the private university student.

Another teenage voter in Bandar Tun Razak Muhammad Nabil Wale Wan Ghazali, 18, also shared his excitement as a first-time voter. He was happy to exercise his right at the polling station in Sekolah Kebangsaan Seri Anggerik, Cheras here.

"When I got to the polling station, I was nervous because I did not know the voting process, but I was thankful that there were officials to help me. After casting my vote, I was so pleased with myself.

"I hope that with my vote, the right leader will chosen for the country," said Muhammad Nabil who was present with his mother Noraini Hamid, aged 66.

Based on the electoral roll age statistics, as of Oct 9, a total of 1,393,549 voters aged between 18 and 20 in the country will vote for the first time in the GE15, comprising 16 per cent of the 6.9 million new voters who were automatically registered when Undi18 was implemented.

This came following Parliament's approval of the proposed amendment of Section 3(a) and (b) of the Constitution (Amendment) Act 2019 in relation to lowering of the voting age limit from 21 to 18 years, in July 2019.

Meanwhile, siblings Adlina Azmi, 24, Athirah Azmi, 22, and Muhammad Adli Azmi, 21, who went to cast their votes at the polling station at the Taman Dato' Ahmad Razali community hall in the Ampang parliamentary constituency, shared the hope that their elected representative would bring change to the country's public transport system such as a better Light Rail Transit (LRT) service.

"This is apart from improving the livelihood of the B40 group like us who are still recovering from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic," said Adlina who has lived in Ampang for over 20 years.

The excitement of voting for the first time was also felt by M. Prakesh, 19, who said that prior to this, he only accompanied his parents to the polling station.

"I feel lucky being able to vote for the first time in this general election which is said to be the 'Mother of all GEs'. I feel proud to be a voter, so I feel proud to be able to participate in this GE," he said when met at the polling centre at Maktab Sultan Ismail, in the Kota Bharu parliamentary constituency.

Also sharing their feelings are sisters Noor Hayati Shafie, 25, and Nur Hazirah, 22, and their cousin, Nurul Izzah Muhd Badaruddin, 18, of Kampung Lambor, in Kelantan, who went to vote at the polling centre at Sekolah Kebangsaan Kampung Delima, in the Tumpat parliamentary cobnstituency.

"For us, this voting process enables us to choose a party which we believe is able to provide many opportunities for the young people, one who has a lot of planning and is able to implement them," said Noor Hayati.

University student Amirah Mohamed Sufian, 20, said she got an opportunity to ride an electric scooter to cast her vote at the polling centre at Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan (SMK) Tok Sera, Kuantan Pahang.

Amirah said she arrived at the school at 8 am and was approached by a school official who informed her that she could choose to ride either an electronic scooter, buggy, rickshaw or bicycle to enter the school grounds.

"I chose an electric scooter. It is indeed an exciting experience for me as a first-time voter, which I can say is different from my other first-time voter friends.

"The process was also easy as I did not have to wait long to cast my vote, and while fulfilling my responsibility as a citizen, I also went to an environmental campaign held nearby," she said when met at the school compound after casting her vote. - BERNAMA