KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 20 – The government aims to implement youth elections to elect delegates to the Youth Parliament to nurture more youth leaders.

Dewan Rakyat Speaker Tan Sri Johari Abdul said the suggestion would allow the Youth Parliament to be a platform to hone youth leadership and create a new generation of leaders.

“After the University and University College Act 1971 was introduced, debates on the democratic system and other social issues (were) somehow curtailed. Its impact reached schools and universities, so our students are not interested in politics and social problems, and what drives them is (more) on academic achievements and they want to score As, and go to universities and hope that they get a good job.

“Finally, they end up trapped in a situation where they cannot adjust accordingly, what more to be leaders, lacking those who really are spirited about democracy and matters related to society.

“Now we want to bring back awareness to youth by nurturing a group who talks about these issues… that’s why the Youth Parliament is a platform for them to come in and turn them into leaders,” he said during a question-and-answer session with the media in conjunction with a meeting with editors-in-chiefs concerning the opening of the third term of the 15th Parliamentary session at the Parliament on Monday.

Johari shared that the suggestion was still at its initial stages and if it is realised, elections for the representatives should be done once every two years, and those elected should be voters between 16 and 35.

He said the age limit was suitable as students elected can return to schools and institutions as student leaders, while adults can return to society as local leaders.

“Maybe after they become Youth Parliament members, they want to be real MPs and join any party and behave like true leaders.

“We will work with the Election Commission to see how the election can be done, and choose the best among the youth… personally I would say we should be investing a lot on future leaders and trying to correct what is happening at the moment,” he added.


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