Hope, apathy, unhappiness: How will Malaysia’s youth vote at the coming polls?

Hope, apathy, unhappiness: How will Malaysia’s youth vote at the coming polls?

And during the outbreak, amid problems with employment and the economy, it was “disappointing to wake up every day and browse the news (of) who’s in power instead of who we should be helping in these tough times”, Azizan lamented.

“There was obviously a general feeling amongst a lot of people that, ‘Oh, this is just a sport (to the politicians). ’”

Within recent state elections, the turnout associated with younger voters has been “significantly lower” than that of the elderly, which had not been the situation for 15 years, noted Ibrahim.

Total voter turnout at Johor’s state election in March was 55 per cent — compared to 83 per cent at the 2018 state election — which made it ambiguous how much impact, when any, the lower voting age had.

Across the country in 2018 — when voters aged between 21 and 40 constructed about 41 per cent of the electorate — their turnout price exceeded that of older voters “by a couple of percentage points”, noted Ibrahim.

“But I think in this particular (general) election, in the event that there isn’t a solid narrative (of) alter … (younger people) will (have) less inclination … to show up to vote. ”


The results of latest state elections furthermore show that Barisan Nasional (BN) provides turned around its prospects.

While the 1MDB corruption scandal that will engulfed former Excellent Minister Najib Razak lost the coalition some votes in 2018, BN hidden Melaka’s state political election last November and the Johor election within March, winning a two-thirds majority or even more.

At the Sarawak state election last December, the Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) coalition scored a landslide victory. Its four component events had been part of BN but left to form GPS after BN’s defeat in 2018.

These results show that “people are looking for political stability”, said James Face, a professor associated with Asian studies from Australia’s University of Tasmania.

“The only product Umno (United Malays National Organisation, BN’s biggest party) can sell … (is) that if you election for us, you’ll get a stable Malaysia. ”

The wider public is also still driven by identity politics; and increasingly, this includes the younger era, he said.

Umno supporter Khairunnisa Jamal, for example , does not want race-based politics to be erased, however the 23-year-old graduate feels everyone has an equal right to education.

The way things are, Chin is confident enough to make a prediction: “I’m happy to go on record (to say) that when elections are held this year, BN/Umno will win hands down. Not a problem. ”

He or she also believes “it isn’t possible to improve things like the yes, definitely action policy within Malaysia”, because that will mean having to “get rid of all the mainstream Malay political parties”.

“If you take this (policy) away, you’re actually assaulting or taking away the particular core ideology of the two main Malay political parties, ” he said.

Even the youth-centric Malaysian United Democratic Connections (Muda) — the particular party co-founded simply by Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman, the former minister of youngsters and sports in the Pakatan Harapan management — recognises that race is a factor in Malaysian politics.

While co-founder Amira Aisya Abdul Aziz said Muda desires “every child to trust that they belong within Malaysia”, party vice-president Lim Wei Jiet told news site Free Malaysia These days in April that it must be not opposed to race-based affirmative action but wants the policies to be implemented much better.

The new party’s performance at Johor’s state elections has been “relatively significant” — it garnered a lot more support among younger voters than resistance leader Anwar Ibrahim’s Parti Keadilan Rakyat did — but there are limitations, said Ibrahim.

“Parties like Muda can probably grow support within the urban context, but it’s still very difficult to break through within rural areas . into the Malay heartland where it really matters, ” he mentioned.

Aisya won the only seat out from the seven Muda competitive in Johor, yet none of its candidates lost their election deposit.

This kind of parties are contending for the same bloc associated with voters who are likely to vote for the Opposition, Ibrahim added.

On the other side of the fence, BN is desperate to show that it can transform and has changed. Umno veteran and former Cabinet minister Shahrir Abdul Samad said its younger candidates were a reason it offers done well recently.

In Melaka, 87 per cent associated with BN’s candidates were new faces; whilst in Johor, the proportion was 79 %, cited Umno Youth chief Asyraf Wajdi Dusuki.

“Can’t you see how far we have changed? ” mentioned Shahrir.

BN had also launched targeted subsidies, such as 1Malaysia People’s Help cash transfers from 2018 that were needs-based and not race-based, he noted. The National Higher Education Fund Corporation’s student loans are also needs-based.

“Change doesn’t mean you have to overturn everything. It can be steady, but it’s relocating some direction, ” said Shahrir.

Last month’s top court decision in order to uphold Najib’s certainty and 12-year prison term on data corruption charges is another chance for Umno — to tell people it “doesn’t interfere in the courts” and fend off such accusations from the Resistance, said Norshahril.

Does that concern still stir political passion among the youngsters?

Ibrahim views “a lot of uncertainties” about how the youth will vote on the coming election.

“We only need a new crop of recent voters who are entering the electoral swimming pool, ” he stated. “First of all, are they going to come out to vote at all? ”

View this episode associated with Insight here . The programme airs upon Thursdays at 9 pm.