Press Digest - Political apathy among Chinese youth, worrying

PETALING JAYA: Political apathy among Chinese youths now, in stark contrast to their enthusiasm in the past, has the Opposition fumbling for solutions, as these young fence-sitters can have a bearing on the outcome of the next general election.

PKR president Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, who is also parliamentary opposition leader, urged Chinese youths to register as voters so that they can fulfil their responsibility as citizens as well as exercise their right to vote when elections come.

She believed Chinese youths' indifference towards politics has a lot to do with the current sad state of political affairs.

In an interview with Sin Chew Daily published today, Wan Azizah, better known as Kak Wan, pointed out that only 13% of Chinese youths aged between 21 and 29 have registered as voters, a far cry from the almost 80% recorded for the Malays in the same age bracket.

She admitted that Pakatan Harapan (PH) deems the support of Chinese and non-Malay voters as crucial for it to win in the 14th general election (GE14).

Thus, the low rate of registration among Chinese youths is worrying, she explained.

"Our survey shows that Chinese, particularly the younger generation, are reluctant to go to the polls. Many of them don't even register as voters.

"We must bring back the zeal they once had for politics and I believe we can make a change.

"My appeal (to young voters) is for them to support us. I believe we can make a change for the better. Don't give up on the future."

According to Invoke, a policy research centre headed by PKR vice-president Rafizi Ramli, if the low rate of registration among Chinese in the 21-29 age group prevails, a much lower voter turnout rate among the Chinese can be expected in GE14, compared with the last polls.