Rose: Age-appropriate voter education necessary with Undi18 implementation

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KUCHING, June 17: Intentional and age-appropriate voter education is needed concurrently with the implementation of Undi18.

In pointing this out, Rise of Social Efforts (Rose) in a statement today said they welcome Minister of Youth, Sports and Entrepreneur Development Dato Sri Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah’s suggestion for age-appropriate civic and voter education to be introduced in upper secondary schools.

“The responsibility to inculcate responsible or smart voters amongst the young falls on each of the stakeholders and not just on the Election Commission alone.

“Civil society organisations, political parties, educators and even parents must play our roles in building responsible citizenry,” it said.

Rose noted, with the implementation of Undi 18 effective December 2021, more than 675,077 Sarawakians have now been added to the electoral roll.

Pie chart showing a comparison of the age breakdown for Sarawak’s electorate for Dec 2020 and Dec 2021 after the implementation of Undi18. Photo credit: Tindak Malaysia

It said the total number of voters stands at 1,927,750 as at Dec 31, 2021, and 28.54 per cent of the age group are 18 to 29-years old, with 550,000 eligible to vote in the coming 15th General Election (GE15).

“The ideal scenario is that everyone in this age-group goes out to vote as they are the ones whose lives and future will be most impacted or affected by policies and decisions made by the government of the day.

“Whether they will go out to choose their elected representative in Parliament depends on what we the above stakeholders do from now on,” it added.

The association said the increase in number of young voters will be meaningless if they do not know the value of their vote nor bother to participate as voters in the election, which will not augur well for the State of democracy.

“We take this opportunity to welcome inquiries from any educational institutions or schools or other organizations within Sarawak to contact us if they are interested in conducting training or collaborating with us in other ways. Our email address is my@sarawakrose.org,” it said. — DayakDaily