Malaysian youth not eager to vote in upcoming GE

A file photo of people attending an anti-kleptocracy rally in Petaling Jaya, near Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on Oct 14, 2017. PHOTO: REUTERS

PETALING JAYA (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Politicians who engage in endless spats and unhappiness with both Barisan Nasional and Pakatan Harapan are among the reasons why some young Malaysians are not eager to cast their ballots in the coming general election.

Justin Yeoh, a 24-year-old fresh graduate, said he has already signed up as a voter but plans to either to spoil his vote or to abstain from voting.

"I feel that many politicians in Malaysia are quite childish ... they just want to attack their opponents.

"They don't really focus on good policies and good governance for the country and the people.

"Politicians from both sides often get involved in spats that will not bring any good to the people," Yeoh said.

Yeoh said he wants to see politicians offer good policies and constructive suggestions to help build the nation instead of making empty promises to win support.

He was commenting on a Sunday Star report which highlighted how more than three million Malaysians above 21 years old have yet to register as voters.

Wong Jun Hoe, a 24-year-old accounts assistant said he was doubtful whether his one vote will make a difference in his constituency.

"I heard the candidate who won in the seat I'm supposed to vote in scored a huge majority, so I think my vote will not make a huge difference."

Wong has not yet registered and feels it may be too late to sign up in order to qualify to vote in the coming general election.

Mohd Ridzuan Syed Ibrahim, a 23-year-old college student, said he did not register when he turned 21 because he did not feel the urgency to do so at the time.

"I know now that my vote is important to decide the future of the country.

"I plan to register as soon as possible once I am back in Malaysia," said Mohd Ridzuan who is currently in India.

Prem Raj, a 22-year-old university student, said he has yet to register as he has been busy with his studies.

"I heard voters' registration booths will be set up at some Hindu temples during the Thaipusam celebration. I plan to register then," he said.

Jasmine Tan, a 22-year-old content review analyst, said she had no idea where to register.

"I also think my vote will not make a difference to the outcome of the coming general election."

Tan said many of her friends who have also not signed up as voters feel the same way.

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