By Ashley Sim
KUCHING, July 7: Sarawak Democratic Action Party (DAP) chairman Chong Chieng Jen encourages Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) graduates to stay up to date on political news and developments in the country so that, as first-time voters in the next election, they can vote wisely to determine the country’s future.
He stated this today at the ‘DAP Sarawak First Batch SPM Outstanding Students Award Giving Ceremony’ held at the DAP headquarters (HQ) here.
“When it comes to deciding what course to take in university or what career to pursue, politics will have a big influence on that aspect of your decision.
“Now that we have fought hard for the Undi18, you have the right to vote; however, in order to vote wisely, you must be aware of political news and developments in the country.
“Your parents are now facing high living costs as a result of politics, so you should be knowledgeable about politics and vote wisely,” he told the graduates in his speech.
Chong then advised the graduates to read about politics from credible sources and form their own opinions.
“That is what you call a ‘mature electorate’, and by being that, the country can progress, and when the country progresses, your future is guaranteed, because you will be in a better country, a better environment to work, study, and even get married.
“At the age of 18, you have the right to determine the future of the country, so learn about politics and keep up with current events in the country so that you know how to vote and who to vote for when the time comes, and that is a right granted to you by the constitution,” he added.
Furthermore, Chong mentioned that the SPM graduates present today were the first batch of the ‘2021 SPM Excellence Award Scheme’, which is the first programme offered by the Bandar Kuching Parliamentary Constituency Service Centre and the Stampin Parliamentary Constituency Service Centre.
“We received over 300 applicants for the award via Google Forms, so we are distributing the awards in batches of 40 and 50 students.
“The scheme will give an award of RM200 for candidates who obtained 6As in their SPM, 7As (RM300), 8As (RM500), 9As (RM600), and 10As (RM700).
“As for candidates who have scored 11As and 12As in their SPM, they will be given the same award,” he said.
Meanwhile, the DAP chairman told reporters that approximately RM150,000 total allocation for the ‘2021 SPM Excellence Award Scheme’ arising from the memorandum of understanding (MOU) is possible due to the balance of power in parliament between the opposition and the ruling government.
“With this balance, it is no longer lopsided as it was in the past; all members of parliament (MPs) receive the allocation, which is a positive development in our democracy and a step toward a mature and effective democracy,” Chong remarked. — DayakDaily