Education reforms needed to woo youths to vote in GE16
SHAH ALAM - Youth have to be educated on democracy and politics so that they can make informed decisions about their civic duties.
Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) deputy director Institute of Ethnic Studies (KITA), Professor Dr Kartini Aboo Talib @ Khalid, said a few things need to be improved as reflected in the recent state election, which are poor voter turnout and election fatigue among young voters.
"Every state should consider institutionalising education on democracy and politics among youth.
"Also Election Commission (EC) must conduct elections simultaneously for cost-efficiency and to maintain motivation.
"Finally always put people first, not personal interests as elected representatives," she said.
Kartini added that poor voter turnout among youths is caused by a few factors, mainly political fatigue and demotivation to vote twice in a short period of time.
She also explained that the political decay is due to the feeling that their vote is not going to make any difference and that they do not know the candidates except through social media. Therefore, there is a lack of real physical human interaction with their potential representative.
"Also youth now also have less sense of responsibility because most youths live in a comfort zone.
"Besides the distraction of other elements such as games, work on TikTok videos, and influencers making money without taxation and free from political madness," she said.
Commenting further, International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM) Political Science Association Professor Dr Syaza Shukri said youth are not that invested in politics, which is normal.
"It takes time for them to realise how politics affect their day-to-day lives. "Now is the time to increase their awareness and literacy in politics; over time, they will participate in elections more," she said.
Meanwhile, Singapore Institute of International Affairs senior fellow Dr Oh Ei Sun said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim does not have the same star power as former Umno youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin or Muda president Syed Saddiq.
"Youths are mainly not in favour of Anwar," he expressed.