The #UndiRosak campaign currently initiated by some youth groups clearly shows immaturity among some of the young people in Malaysia.
As a first-time voter, I am deeply embarrassed and disappointed by this movement as it jeopardises the reputation of other young people like myself. Personally, I have waited all these years to be in the democratic process through elections, and it would be an honour indeed to vote knowing of all the past struggles in other countries where some have been unable to vote in elections due to various reasons.
These young people are taking the privilege that they have acquired without any force for granted. We all know the reasons for this movement, but isn’t this campaign a little self-centred? A spoilt vote does not only affect one or two people, but the whole constituency because the result affects everyone.
They are not proving anything with this campaign because the situation in some constituencies will become even worse with the #UndiRosak campaign.
The youth group initiating the movement should take many factors into consideration before coming to any sort of conclusion.
To think about it from a rational point of view, young people are supposed to be agents of change but looking at this particular young group, it seems that some young people have lost their sensibleness. They have their heads held up so high that they have basically forgotten the needs of others.
Is this how this group of young people is going to run Malaysia, let alone the world in the future? The #UndiRosak campaign is the same as not going to the ballot box.
This group of young people should learn from Brexit, where only 36% of people aged between 18 and 24 voted in the EU referendum. Almost 64% of young people did not bother to go down to the polling stations and place their votes. As a result of the low turnout by the young, the UK is now going through a difficult time. The irony is that now these young people are said to be complaining about the outcome of the referendum.
Do we want this for Malaysia? Young people are a crucial part of Malaysian society, hence their votes are important not only for them but for all Malaysians.
This is the time for us to come together. The least these young people can do is to think about the interests of the other voters rather than just their own.
If this is the attitude of some of our young people, how can we trust them and reduce the voting age to 18? #UndiRosak does more harm than good, especially to the young people of Malaysia. Our reputation is at stake.
Aaron Denison is a research assistant at the Asia-Europe Institute, Universiti Malaya.