KUALA LUMPUR: Minister of Youth and Sports, Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman proposes the age of voters be reduced from 21 to 18 years old to enhance leadership building among the young generation especially school leavers and university graduates.
Saddiq said, the age should be reduced to enable young people to get involve in public dialogues concerning the current situation and issues relating their future like scholarship, place in universities and job opportunities.
“If students are exposed to politics at early age then by 18 years old they are prepared to cast their votes and choose the political party themselves.
“The youth should be defined as those from 18 till 30 years old. Today aged 40 is still considered as youth.
“This age will deter the young people especially the graduates aged 23 till 30 from getting government or any kind of assistance from NGOs,” he said to the media.
Syed Saddiq said that to the media after the royal address by His Majesty Yang di-Pertuan Agong Sultan Muhammad V at the first meeting of the 14th Parliamentary session on Tuesday.
He added, once the voter’s age has been decided then political parties have the mechanisms and incentives to alert and educate the young generation with the current situation.
“We want the young people to be leaders in the NGOs so that any kind of assistance should be granted to them and not to the 40 years old age bracket.
“Do not underestimate young people as age does not determine the maturity and wisdom of a person,” said Syed Saddiq.
He said, generally people presume that a youth aged 18 years old does not know and care less about politics, follow what the parents say, no experience, weak and only like to be in the “chat pit”.
For this year, Syed Saddiq said, he will meet the youth and target groups to get feedback on the proposal before forwarding it to the Cabinet and then tabled it at the Parliament.
“Only next year we hope to implement what have been approved. I feel the proposal is not far beyond others as Indonesian voting age is 17 years old and same goes to Thailand and Vietnam,” he said confidently.
He also mentioned that due to the young age for voting, we could see many leaders come from the young generation.
Syed Saddiq reiterated, it is not very timely to educate and expose students to political issues at the age of 17 but only eligible to cast vote at the age of 21. -Malaysia World News