KUALA LUMPUR – The Malaysian Indian Youth Council (MIYC), one of the largest Indian youth based national organisation in the country calls upon the Malaysian government to consider setting the age limit for legislative members to 65 years old, in line with the recent Undi-18 initiative.
Considering the current political situation that has led the country to become a nation run by the older generation (gerontocracy), MIYC together with six other youth organisations in the country, have reiterated several appeals to all Malaysians in a recent press conference as below:
- Demand that the political parties take note of the appeals of the youth movement and NGOs in Malaysia to set the age limit for candidates to become legislative members in Malaysia to 65 years old and below.
- Determined to mobilize large waves to put pressure on the youths, the younger generation from various backgrounds and groups are encouraged to vote only for the Members of Parliament who are under the age of 65.
- It is not unusual for the government today to rejuvenate the balance of power between the Dewan Rakyat and the Dewan Negara by presenting a new face. This to some extent supports the growth of public institutions and a society with integrity and independence without being overshadowed by political masters who for decades have grasped their dominance.
- An estimated 7.8 million new voters will be included in the Voter List in 2023 if automatic registration is implemented along with a decrease in the voting age limit to 18 years. The number of voters in 2023 is expected to increase by more than 50 percent making the total number of voters 22.7 million compared to 14.9 million in the 14th General Election (GE14). Thus, legislative rejuvenation action is a reasonable and relevant matter.
- The Malaysian Indian Youth Council is of the opinion that, the symptoms of political master, long-rooted political patronage must be removed. We believe it is not impossible with the commitment to ‘celebrate the rejuvenation of the country’s leadership’. Let us prove it in the 15th General Election (GE15) that any political alliances in Malaysia is able to move on to a new socio-political narrative that is healthy and fresh with faces that are sure to come with new ideas.
- We would also like to urge the government through the Election Commission (EC) to take the necessary measures to ensure that the registration of new voters is made immediately as stipulated in July 2021.
- 1.2 million youths aged 18-20 should be given the opportunity to elect representatives who will represent their interests in line with the rights granted to make important decisions in their lives under the Adult Age Act 1971 (Act 21).
- In line with the reduction of the youth membership age limit to 30 years, we hope that this insistence will provide opportunities and space for youth leaders of calibre, especially in the age range of 30 to 40 years.
“The joined initiative was started to spearhead the political progress of the nation with fresher new ideas by enabling younger politicians. Youths who reach the age of 40 are expected to resign as the constitution states, however they lack the opportunity to grow themselves as political leaders beyond that despite having the potential. This needs to be changed. Ultimately our appeal is seen in line with the guidelines that are setting the mandatory retirement age for civil servants at 60 – 65 years old,” said Dhanesh Basil, President of the Malaysian Indian Youth Council (MIYC).
“We, the new generation, also see that if the position as a Member of Parliament or State Assemblyman is held for too long, unhealthy practices may arise because they will get too powerful and comfortable with their position. We do not want these positions to be made a lifelong career, as the position should be made a place to serve the people for their welfare. It is certainly more suitable for young and energetic politicians to take up these positions who will be able to strive and bring the country to greater heights. We can leverage on those over the age of 65 to serve as good advisors to young leaders due to their long experience in the country’s administrative arena.”
The press conference was also joined by Gerakan Belia 4B Malaysia, Keilmuan Nasional, Gabungan Pelajar Melayu Semenanjung, Majlis Belia Negeri Perak, Majlis Belia Wilayah Persekutuan and Pergerakan Belia India Muslim Malaysia (GEPIMA), which formed the New Generation Coalition together with MIYC. -Malaysia World News