GE15: Attractive manifesto, but can they deliver? ask young voters
KLUANG,. The Johor State Election last March marked the first stage for young people in the state, aged 18 to 20, to cast their ballots, charting the history of the group’s direct involvement in the country’s political landscape.
Now several months later, these young people are once again in the spotlight for the upcoming 15th General Election (GE15), which is considered crucial for the formation of a new government.
Young people met in this district expressed their desire to have a representative who can carry out his responsibilities for his constituencies well, and who is ready to work hard after getting the people’s mandate in GE15.
A student at a private institution of higher learning, Muhammad Ikmal Ahmad Ikhsan, 22, said that the current political situation taught them to research the contesting candidates first, before making a decision to support them.
“All the contesting political parties have an attractive manifesto, but the question is, are they able to keep their promises to us, who put all our hopes on them?
“For young people like us, what we want most are, the opportunity to further our education, job opportunities, good internet access, affordable housing prices and politicians who don’t steal from the people,” he told Bernama when met at Joms! Santai Orang Muda Sembrong, near here, recently.
Businessman, Haswan Azran Md Diah, 26, who will be casting his ballot for the first time in GE15, following the implementation of automatic registration by the Election Commission (EC), believes that the issue of politicians who have a bad record and are involved in the abuse of power and corruption should be addressed, because such individuals don’t benefit nation building.
“It doesn’t matter if they are from the government or the opposition, the contesting candidates must be clean, and someone who puts the people first rather than enriching themselves after gaining power,” he said.
Sharing a similar sentiment is Ayla Sofea Mohd Darus, 24, a medical student, at a public institution of higher learning. She said that today’s young people are generation Z, who are very exposed to social media and are able to get information at their fingertips.
“When an issue involving young people went viral, many parties issued statements through social media, it was easy for us to follow the developments, and we can assess which politicians are more efficient in dealing with issues related to young people.
“In addition (there are) issues which are close to young people, such as offering permanent positions instead of contracts, looking after the welfare of food delivery riders and controlling the prices of goods. If these matters become the focus of a political party, it surely can attract young people to support them,” she said.
According to statistics released by the EC, a total of 10.6 million voters aged 18 to 39 nationwide are eligible to vote in GE15.
A total of 1,393,549 of the eligible voters are below 21 years old, while 4,614,429 voters are aged 21 to 29.
Based on the parliamentary breakdown, Sungai Buloh (Selangor), Pensiangan (Sabah) and Tebrau (Johor) are the parliamentary constituencies with the highest proportion of young voters.