KUCHING: The proposed reduction of voting age from 21 to 18 has sent shockwaves across the nation as political parties scramble to attract the new group of young voters.

Coupled with the automatic registration rule that is expected to pass raised questions on whether voters, at the age of 18 are politically mature.

Gary John

Gary John opined that parents should set an example to young voters by showing maturity in politics.

The twenty-six-year-old civil servant said parents are a child’s first teachers and they should continue their role in harnessing political maturity among their children.

“A subject on nation building should be introduced in school particularly at the SPM level. This should include aspects such as governance, parliamentary democracy, formation of government, the federal system along with the role of youths in nation building.

Nurhafiza Mohamad Nor echoed Gary’s views and opined that it is crucial for youths to be given ample exposure on the basics of governance.

Nurhafiza Mohamad Nor

“The democracy concept should also be highlighted in ensuring that youths are better prepared for their all-important responsibility as citizens,” said the twenty-three-year-old.

The idea of revamping the education syllabus is not lost on Basnel Guswindoo who viewed that basic exposure on politics should be highlighted in schools.

“While some exposure are given in subjects such as history and civics, the examples shown are outdated,” said the twenty-eight-year-old freelance graphic artist.

“The subjects are unattractive and doesn’t show the latest information that may be of use to the current generation of youths for them to learn about the political situation in Malaysia,” Basnel expressed.

Bartolomew Andoy also echoed calls for the education syllabus to be reviewed adding that it is enough if the civics subject is revamped.

Bartolomew Andoy

“The subject should include basic information on politics and its machineries. It must be easy to understand for all as not all of us know the complex terms and jargons of the industry,” said the twenty-four-year-old.

Bartolomew rejected suggestions that political parties should play a role in educating youths in terms of politics citing that the bias that the party brings may be counterproductive in terms of harnessing political maturity.

“What if the party loses the next election, the youths might have a difficult time to adjust to the ways of the new government as they were nurtured and educated using different ideologies and philosophies,” he added.

Ariff Adlan Affendi

Ariff Adlan Affendi also argued that it is necessary for the education syllabus to be revamped in order to add in relevant subjects for the young voters.

The twenty-four-year-old opined that forums, dialogues and discussions should be conducted to raise awareness among youths on their responsibility as voters.