Political squabbles put off youths, says activist

Anis: I used to have friends who were well versed in politics and knew who to vote for. But they are not sure any more.
Anis: I used to have friends who were well versed in politics and knew who to vote for. But they are not sure any more.

PETALING JAYA: To youths, politicians seem only focused on their own internal squabbles.

This has led many youths to have an indifferent attitude toward politics, says student activist Anis Syafiqah.

She said the politicians, be they in the opposition or government, should by right be directing their efforts towards the youths — the people who represent the future of the country.

“Young people should be shaping the politics of this country.

“However, I do not blame politicians who do not give space to youths because there is no denying that many of these young people may not want to be part of it at all.

“I do agree that young adults these days may feel like they are left out in political decision-making because they disagree with the current politics,” Anis told FMT.

She was responding to a survey conducted by Merdeka Center, entitled “Public Opinion Survey: Youth Perception on the Economy, Leadership and Current Issues”.

According to this survey, 71% of those surveyed felt they had no influence on the government and 75% felt that politics was complicated.

Some 66% were also of the view that politicians were not trustworthy, 54% felt politicians did not care about the people’s problems, and 66% felt politicians themselves were the cause of many of the problems facing the country.

Anis was suspended from Universiti Malaya for her involvement in the “Tangkap MO1” rally last year.

She said many of her peers are confused whether to vote for the opposition or the government.

The main cause of this was because both sides were having their own set of problems. As a result, they are not focusing on the needs of the people, she claimed.

“I used to have friends who were well versed in politics and knew who to vote for. But they are not sure any more.

“So much has been reported about political strife, whether it concerns the federal government or the federal opposition.

“There are those who left Umno to start PPBM, and there are some in the opposition who cannot accept PPBM as being part of Pakatan Harapan due to old conflicts.

“All these are turning off young people,” Anis said.

Adam says he is  concerned over the current political situation.
Adam says he is concerned over the current political situation.

Another prominent youth activist, Adam Adli, also voiced his concern over the current political situation.

He said this made it harder for young people to make up their minds who to vote for.

“In the 2008 and the 2013 general elections, it was clear to see that the opposition was out to defeat the government.

“But today it is quite different. The people who used to be the enemy are now with the opposition.

“People see news reports on corruption scandals but no action is taken. It is as if these things are merely false accusations. All these lead to the youths becoming disinterested in politics,” he said.

**Ivy Chong contributed to this article**

http://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/nation/2017/09/20/survey-young-voters-think-country-is-heading-in-wrong-direction/

http://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/nation/2017/09/20/distrust-of-politicians-one-factor-for-low-number-of-young-voters/