GE15: Debutant voters likely to hold sway

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By Lee Shaw Wei & Fasiha Khushiri

KUCHING: The game changer in the upcoming general election (GE15) will be the first-time voters, mainly the ones between the age of 18 and 20.

In saying this, political analyst Dr Lee Kuok Tiung stressed that due to automatic voter registration, the number of voters had increased to 5.8 million Malaysians.

“As we all know, the age of voters and electoral candidates has been reduced from 21 to 18 .

“Out of the 5.8 million Malaysians, a maximum of 27 per cent are those aged between 18 and 20 years old,” he said this during an interview with New Sarawak Tribune and its sister paper Suara Sarawak today.

Lee, who is also the senior lecturer at Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS), added that the majority of new voters may be those who did not wish to vote previously.

And the automatic voter registration is unlikely to change their minds about voting, he said.

“As for the 18 to 20 group, this is divided into two groups, one being those who are still in high school and another would be the group that are studying in university.

“In my opinion, 60 to 70 per cent of them are still in school so this group will go out to vote en masse, thus making voting day seems like a school weekend activity,” he said.

Dr Lee said based on his observation, the influencers at school would be the teachers.

“And at the university level, the lecturers will play an important role to influence who they will vote for.

“Thus, I believe that the turnout of this group will be very high,” he added.

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