Dangers of lowering voting age

I disagree with Mr Francis Cheng on lowering the voting age simply to engage young people in politics ("Lower voting age to engage our youth in politics"; last Thursday).

There are alternative ways to engage young people in politics, such as having non-examinable but mandatory lessons and seminars involving government officials - at the secondary and college levels - to raise the political awareness of the youngsters.

Youthfulness is a strength, but it comes with idealism and impulsiveness that carry as much weight as sobriety in decision making.

I am concerned that having young people with insufficient life experience participate in the election of a government could introduce instability.

There is a chance that sentimental votes could knock out able leaders, and create a time bomb for our national leadership.

Citizens at age 21 are likely to vote more responsibly and wisely than their younger counterparts.

Boys would have gone through national service, and girls would have had other life experiences, thereby making them more mature and ready to decide the future of Singapore.

Liew Eng Leng

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 05, 2015, with the headline 'Dangers of lowering voting age'. Print Edition | Subscribe