Reducing the minimum age from 21 years old to 18 years has brought attention to our country policy and politics. As we know, the voting age in Malaysia is 21 years old on the eligibility date. For sure, everybody has right to cast their votes to determine the future in their country’s but it must be with a rational mind. Eighteen is the legal age of childhood, however, to make this group as a voter is something that requires very deep discussion and cannot be taken lightly. They might end up voting the candidates according to the popularity of the candidates or just follow their parent choice instead of deciding on their own. The voting age in Malaysia should not be reduced from 21 years old to 18 years old. Between 18 years old to 21 years old is the stage where they make mistakes and learn from the mistakes to gain experience for a new life.
First, the youth will be probably influenced by their parent on whom to vote for because of the lack of information about politics. They believed that the choices made by parents are the best because the parents have extensive experience, knowledge, or the background of the candidates. They might slightly aware of the political situation in the country but not have enough knowledge to make a decision to vote. They as young people do not know much or talk about issues political. They love enjoyable things like hanging out with friends, shopping, traveling or doing something fun and political issues seem boring to some of them. Like I say, the decision probably made by parents because at home parents tend to talk about politics and defend their choice. I agree that young people can gain knowledge due to technologically advanced without borders which have exposed the generation into the political world, but there a lot website contains fake information and they may get wrong information. When they are not aware of this, the opportunity to choose the wrong candidate is high and the wrong decision can lead to a big problem in the country. Therefore, the voters who cannot make their own decisions are not eligible to vote.
Furthermore, voting age should not reduce to 18 years old because political awareness is still low among them. As we know, most of them are students and do not interest or not fully understand the politics. They just focus on academic achievement and get ready for preparation for the work environment to help their family. They are busy due to the tight schedule of study until they do not have time to keep up with current political development. For those who are taking a course in political science, law or religious studies, it will not be a problem for them because they need to alert with current issues political but for those who do not take the course it will be difficult for them. The youth with a low level of political awareness makes it difficult to assess and see issues raised, especially related things with race and religion or sensitive issues that may lead to misunderstandings. When their opinions are not accepted, they are more likely to respond emotionally and not rationally. In politic we need to be mature and open-minded when comes for discussion or something like that. I am not saying that everyone in 18 years old is not mature, some may think maturely and some do not. Every person has the mentality differs. It depends on how they think about something. Maturity is not based on their age, but how they think rationally is important to show how they look for someone that can lead and govern our country well.
However, if the government still want to consider about reducing the voting age, they should need find alternative that can increase knowledge about political among the students from school. For example, they can introduce the young generation about election and voting systems into the school subject. This will give young generations the opportunity to become responsible voters and exposed to them about our country politics and show how their role as the youth who will capable of make wise decisions regarding to the future of the country. For example, a student leader in school can be voted by all students based on his/ her performance, attitude or how they handle the problems. Through this practice, students will be exposed to the process of democratizing system as our country does. The voting process can implement by setting up the station to allow students vote in real situations. This situation will create a sense of responsibility and motivate them that their opinion is really important to the future of the country. Every student needs to know why the vote important because the voting will be impacted the country. Young people need to be exposed to the current political situation in the beginning of school and become adults that can think rationally and critically. In summary, I believe if this thing works out, it is not impossible to reduce the voting age to 18 years old because they are already prepared by knowledgeable and decide by their own without influence by other people.
In conclusion, reducing the voting age from 21 years old to 18 years old should be considered. As we know, older voters have the benefit in having more understanding and knowledge about the qualifications of each candidate if compared to younger people especially people who are just finishing their secondary school. Like I mention before, they easily influenced by people around them and more easily manipulated by others. They also lack of knowledge and experience to participate fully in politics that can bring a wrong decision when make a voting. Disagree about reducing to 18 years old voter doesn’t mean the voice of the youth is not needed, but for making them as a voter that really important for the sake of the country, the government need to make sure that this generation is really prepared enough to involve themselves in politics. I think the learning process about politic in school might will increase political involvement among students and the knowledge they gained will help them to think carefully about their decision.