Empowerment of Youth Political Rights and Involvement
By:Lew Guan Xi
Policy Code:2d Youth
According to a survey done by public opinion pollster Merdeka Center this year, more than two-thirds of youths have no interest in participating in politics, with 78% of them cited that politics is “complicated” and 66% of them cited that “politicians don’t care what people like me think”. The advancement in technology had led to the hedonistic culture among the youths, where they become political ignorance. Also, as of 2018, the median age of Malaysian MPs stands at 55.5 years old, which is a very imbalanced age proportion. Both of these has led to various youth-related problems, such as youth unemployment, remain unresolved as there is a lack of youth representatives in the parliament. Also, the existing generation gap and paternalistic culture in the parliament had also led to the repression of youth MPs’ opinions and viewpoints due to the constraint of being disrespectful towards the elderly.
Value(s) and Belief(s):
The current Malaysian context is too conservative due to the unwillingness of the non-youth MPs to adopt new vision. I strongly believe that Malaysian political landscape should be youthful to make the country more open and liberal.
Proposal of Solution:
1) Political literacy related topics should be added into the education system, particularly into the history subject. Rather than only teaching the students on the past events and their lessons and values, teachers should also compare the past events to current situation in Malaysia to cultivate students’ political knowledge since young. 2) Election offences act to specify the age proportion of each political party when they are selecting candidates. For example, 30% aged between 21 to 40, 30% aged between 41 to 60, and 40% aged 61 and above. It is to move towards a more balanced age proportion in the political landscape. 3) The Undi18 Bill should be implemented as soon as possible to allow legal protection on youth political rights. I hereby urge all the youths to start advocating for a youthful political landscape and start learning and involving yourselves in politics for a better future of the country.