6:57 AM

The youth and the Future

Posted by Mr.Clive |

Thank heaven, the Internet is available in Malaysia and because of the internet, we are able to get other news of what's happening here in Malaysia and Sarawak back home and not relying on the hopeless The Stars, NST and Utusan Malaysia etc. Sometimes, the stories are so bias that it just turns me off.naturally. But at the same time, we could see the powerful effect of the internet on Malaysia-in the last General Election which took place in last March. For so long the BN has held a tight grip around Malaysia's neck due to their control of mass media, however because of the internet, more and more people turn to the alternative and more neutral source, for instance: Malaysiakini. That's the first.

Secondly, any political parties that wish to make a profound effect on Malaysia's political scene must work hard to win the influence of the youth at large. For all we know, the Malaysian people are mostly still very new, if compare to the Europeans per se; because Malaysia is formed  in 1963 and therefore, these young Malaysians who are quite knowledgeable in terms of the use of technology would determine the fate of most if not all political parties in the future. And although most Malaysians who are still in their early 20's are yet to register as voters, however with time, they will and their votes will count. Therefore, it would be a much more open battle between the government and the opposition later as more of these young voters turn to the internet for correct information and old propaganda that includes racial and religious issues are quite irrelevant, if truth be told. 

I was at the Youth Convention recently, held at PWTC and I had the privilege of listening to some speakers of how we youth would be the replacement of current management. True, sooner or later, we would take control of these country because it would be our time. Besides the point, I've seen many young and talented youth in terms of intelligence and leadership and it just gives out a promising aura, isn't it? Quite truthful, we are sick of the racial politics and everything from NEP to everything else that just not quite relevant these days. What are the relevant matters then? Building a proper country, equality for all and I just can't help but admire the way the politics in America is being moulded currently. 

Well, it is a reminder. A reminder to every political party to not neglect the youth's views but take them into consideration. If they think the old methods would work again in the next general election, sorry to say but it's like walking around in the woods-dark surrounding, refusing to use the torchlight.The same goes to Sarawak as well. I've heard some of the things that local politicians said to the long house people, but trust me, few years from now, that tactics are just hopeless and not going to work anymore. 

God bless.


Anonymous said...

The youth certainly play important roles in the future.Well said.

sleepy Abdullah said...

In Malaysia: Youth Power?

By Herizal Hazri

Herizal Hazri is a Consultant for The Asia Foundation in Malaysia.

Although generally perceived by Malaysians to be ignorant on political issues, young people — 21 to 35-year-olds — account for nearly 45% of all eligible voters in Malaysia and could soon become the primary force in determining the issues and discourse of public policy and debate in the country.

It is in this context that a survey by Merdeka Center and The Asia Foundation was formulated – to uncover and examine the opinions and expectations of Malaysia’s younger voters for a wider audience, with the intention of sparking interest and attention among policy makers and community leaders. Last year was the first time this poll was conducted. The second poll was just completed, providing a chance to compare and contrast the data against current events in the country.

According to the 2007 survey, 67% of young people in Malaysia still turn to television most often for news, while just 12% turn to the internet. Although a recent report published by the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission showed 47.8% internet penetration in the country, 43% of those polled in this year’s youth survey say they have no internet access. For those who do have internet access, they are mostly using it to view sports and entertainment news. Others say they use the internet for email and to view the latest information on job opportunities. While the internet is becoming increasingly relevant as a platform to voice concerns and as a source of news in Malaysia, the survey suggests that youth are not using the internet to be informed and engaged on political and social issues.

The youth participating in the current poll say crime and public safety, and the state of the Malaysia’s national economy, are their primary concerns. Just 3% expressed concern about world politics. These findings suggest that young people are more focused on issues that affect their daily lives more immediately, like the economy and national security, but are paying little attention to the world around them.

The 2007 poll found that young people showed positive attitudes towards elections and voting, with 93% responding that voting in elections is important, yet 56 % have not registered as voters and 52% think there is little they can do to hold government accountable between elections.

Ethnic background continues to impact perception and attitudes of youth polled, especially their perception towards political parties, democracy, and patriotism. While 56% of youth thought the parliament needed more opposition, more Malay/Muslim and non-Muslim Bumiputera disagreed with this compared to their Chinese and Indian counterparts. When asked whether the government is treating everyone equally, 51% of those polled said yes. However there is a huge split in opinion on this according to ethnicity. While the majority of Malay/Muslim and non-Muslim Bumiputera agreed that the government is fair, the non-Bumiputeras begged to differ. This split was similar to findings on patriotism. While 64% youth believed that Malaysian should sacrifice their personal interests for the country, the majority of the Chinese youth polled disagreed.

The views expressed by youth in this survey raise some areas of concern for Malaysia. While the majority of those polled are concerned about local issues, only 39% feel that they can make a difference. The survey suggests that Malaysian youth are concerned but disconnected from civic activities. Respondents’ ethnic background also seems to play a significant role in determining interest in politics and governance. The poll shows that Malay/Muslim and non-Muslim Bumiputera are more likely to participate in political activities than Chinese youth, who are more indifferent.

To what extent the findings of this survey will attract the attention of policy makers is yet to be seen. What is clear is that the national appetite for public polling is growing as citizens desire to compare and contrast their views against those of their fellow citizens. This could well be ‘the alternative’ medium of contact between civil society and the government that Malaysians have long been searching for.

Mr.Clive said...

we'll see.because at the moment,should encourage the youth to register and vote in the next GE.

Tony Fernandes said...

the youth tend to support the opposition probably because they are being rebellious. If the government is not prepared,they will lose the next GE because of this factor.