By Nigel Edgar
KUCHING, July 19: Lowering the voting age to 18 will enable the youth to gain more knowledge of the nation’s political landscape at an earlier stage and create a more mature democratic system.
This would accelerate better progress for the country, said Pending assemblywoman Violet Yong.
The Democratic Action Party (DAP) lawmaker believed it was time to acknowledge the youth’s contribution to the progress of the country, and therefore by lowering the minimum voting age from 21 to 18, more youth could now be involved in the decision-making on who gets to lead the country.
“By lowering the voting age to 18, the youth can get all the necessary knowledge and be more prepared. I believe from there, our country can progress and our democracy system becoming more mature over the years,” she told reporters here today.
On that note, Yong supported the idea by the Election Commission (EC) to include introducing voter education in the school syllabus, as said by its chief Azhar Azizan Harun yesterday.
She said this would better prepare the students for the country’s voting system and how it is being run.
“There are so many tiers, like the state and federal level, because our country’s voting system is not so complicated compared to United States and some European countries. That is the basic knowledge to get the person prepared when they reach the age of 18.”
Once the youth understand the system, they can make better judgment, conclusion and even in their decision, after listening to both sides of the political divide on different angles.
Yong claimed that she was told the automated voters registration system might not make it for the 2021 state election, but EC would implement the online registration soon to encourage young voters to register.
“I believe in the next state election, the youngsters will be one of the groups that will lobby or talk with their peers about politics and try to encourage them to come out to vote.
For DAP, Yong said every vote counted and the party could not exclude this youth demographic.
“You will see more registration drives for this group of people later,” she continued. — DayakDaily