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KUCHING, June 26: Batang Sadong MP Datuk Sdri Nancy Shukri is quite optimistic that Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) will be a favourable choice for the youths if the voting age is lowered from 21 to 18.
“As a party representative, I will certainly follow my party line when it comes to voting,” said Nancy.
Nancy said it is a trend for the legal voting age to be lowered. Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Cuba and other countries have reduced their legal voting age to 16-years-old.
“Some countries have their legal voting age reduced to 18. And this is the age that Malaysia has indicated it will reduce to, from the current age, which is 21-years-old.
“Based on my reading, in 2017, Malaysia had a population of 31 million. Out of that, 16.81 per cent are between 15-24-years-old. Since the last GE 14, there has been an increase in political interests among the youths.”
She said it was quite obvious that the last general election results was largely influenced by the young voters.
“Beside, the young ones are the ones who dominated the use of social media. And it was believed that the influence of social media had contributed to the Barisan Nasional (BN)’s downfall
Nancy who was formerly Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department however, also pointed out that as a country, Malaysia ought to prepare the overall government administrative system and the whole political landscape to allow this new system to function.
“After the GE14, I personally observed the tendency among the youths to participate in political engagements. This new political landscape contributes to an increase in awareness among the nation of their rights and the roles played by the government.
“The positive change could have also been contributed by the part played by our young Ministers who won in the election, in particular, YB Syed Saddiq (Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman) as the Youth Minister.
“His appointment has become an inspiration to other young people who have opened the ‘door’ for youths to participate in politics and become candidates in the forthcoming election,” said Nancy.
She said Malaysia had been ruled by a government which has been in power for about 60 years, in this regard, as far as performance is concerned, there is a big difference between performance of the Pakatan Harapan (PH) ministers and the BN.
“We could see that the PH ministers are still behaving like they were in opposition. All sorts of excuses being made that they behaved in such manner because they are still new.
“Now it is no longer a question of being new, they have to prove that they are capable and qualified to hold such positions. Here, I am referring to ministers in general, not just about young ministers.
“My observation is to remind ourselves while we are going to vote, we must ensure that the young people will be complemented with the right information and knowledge to be a political decision maker once the law is approved,” said Nancy. — DayakDaily