PETALING JAYA, Sept 20 — Malaysian youths do not care much about politics and are instead more concerned about the economy, a recent study showed.
The “Youth Perception on Economy, Leadership and Current Issues” survey conducted by the Merdeka Center found that only 30 per cent of the youths polled cared about politics.
The survey was carried out via phone in August with a sample size of 604 Peninsular Malaysians ranging in ages from 21 to 30.
Among the issues that are of concern to these young Malaysians are unfavourable economic conditions, inflation and corruption in the country.
Inflation got 51 per cent of the votes, while corruption is a concern for almost 34 per cent of those polled and 56 per cent felt their household economy is worst off now than a year ago.
About of 65 per cent of them said it was difficult to enter the job market and only 56 per cent feel secure in their current employment.
Issues like 1MDB which have been harped on by politicians barely made an impact among these voters with only six per cent seeming to care about it.
Also, issues like the implementation of Islamic law and hudud only troubled two per cent of the youths surveyed.
However, the majority of those polled did not trust politicians and showed major disdain towards politics.
About one in four of those surveyed felt that their votes do not make a difference in elections and 71 per cent felt that they have no influence over what the government does.
Putrajaya, however, did score some brownie points with improvements to infrastructure especially in the public transport sector, with 75 per cent approval from those surveyed.
Merdeka Center director Ibrahim Suffian concluded that while Malaysian youths are more well-informed about what is happening in the country, many of them were not interested in politics which could lead to low voter turnout in the next general elections.
He also added that politicians, especially those from the Opposition, should try engaging in issues that are more of a concern to the youth like their economic struggle rather than 1MDB which is old news.
“1MDB happened more than two years ago. It is an old issue that most people are aware of. As an issue for a political party to bring up, it is not going to bring new support.
“People are not stupid. They know right and wrong. They will have formed their opinions. How important is this compared to other things that drive them to ballot boxes?” Ibrahim questioned.