Youths not loyal to any political party, they follow trend, say experts
KUALA TERENGGANU - Many political observers say the support of young voters is inconsistent, as most of them do not remain loyal to a particular political party.
Dr Mohd Yusri Ibrahim, Chief Researcher at the Inspiration Centre said even during the 15th general election (GE15), the majority of young people in Terengganu supported Pas not out of loyalty to the party but rather based on the current situation or trend.
"Their voting preferences can change in the upcoming state election. Whichever party is able to address their concerns and perspectives effectively will gain their support," he was quoted in Bernama.
Yusri said young voters often lack preparation, knowledge and a clear understanding of the electoral system which is a crucial component of a country's democracy.
He pointed out that political education and exposure to the electoral process are limited in primary and secondary schools, leaving young voters unprepared to make important decisions for the country.
He said education and exposure to the electoral process are limited in primary and secondary schools, leaving young voters unprepared to make important decisions for the country.
"After finishing high school it is necessary to vote and make important decisions for the country," said Yusri.
According to the Electoral Register issued by the Election Commission (EC), the largest group of young voters aged 18 to 20 years are in Selangor with 274,194 people, followed by Kedah (104,284), Kelantan (96,513), Penang (67,633), Terengganu (64,264), and Negeri Sembilan (55,017).
On the other hand, Tengku Sri Paduka Raja, Tengku Ibrahim Sultan Ismail Nasiruddin Shah, a political veteran, believes that individuals aged 18 years should be able to think maturely and make informed assessments.
When examining the views of young voters in Terengganu, it appears that they are not inclined towards a particular party. Instead, their preferences depend on the criteria of the candidates and the issues highlighted by potential representatives.
"They have to be careful, evaluate and do research before voting,” he said.
Looking at the views of young voters in Terengganu, the average does not give the impression that they are in favour of a party, instead their 'taste' depends on candidate criteria as well as the offer that will be highlighted by the future representative of the people later.
Aqilah Talib, a top scorer in Sijil Tinggi Persekolahan Malaysia (STPM) in Terengganu said she seeks competent candidates who present realistic manifestos and prioritise the welfare of the people.
"Manifestos are necessary, not just made to confuse the voters. People's representatives must prioritise the welfare of the people," said Aqilah who wants to read law,
Muhammad Azran Imran, a diploma student at a public institution of higher learning said that he looks for candidates who are visionary, progressive and capable of expressing important issues, regardless of their political background.
He also expressed a preference for young candidates with strong leadership qualities, finding them more interesting compared to candidates who have been in politics for a long time.