By Sharifah Batrisyia
GOMBAK, 8 April 2021: Increasing awareness of the campus election can educate the youth as a preparation for the national election in exercising their rights as future stakeholders.
A critical dialogue titled “Youth Politics: Undi18 and SU Election” was organised by Political Insights under IIUMtv to discuss youth’s participation in politics regardless of the university or the national level.
Along with the current wave of Student Union election and Undi18, Political Insights invited three speakers – Ika Danial, lecturer of Malaysian Studies at Netherlands Maritime University College and an alumnus of International Islamic University of Malaysia (IIUM) who majored in political science, Nur Athirah, a member of UIAMengundi and Nadia Malyanah, a lead researcher of Undi18.
University’s election is a reflection of the nation’s election. The low percentage of votes among KIRKHS voters in the past elections produced an important question: Do youth really care about elections? Ika Danial stated that everyone has his or her own role in the election process.
He revealed that one of the reasons for the low percentage was due to lack of awareness. Long period of campaigning will give more time for youth to cultivate information about the on-going election in the campus.
“Representatives of the election therefore need to step forward to advocate for the campaign so that students are aware of what is going on,” Ika Danial said.
Another speaker, Nur Athirah, stated that social media is a great platform in spreading awareness of campus election, as well as how practicing on-campus democracy will give the students insight on the workings of the political atmosphere once they embark on the real world.
“Social media plays a major role in youth’s life. Engaging with other students about the importance of election can kickstart their interest in politics as well as practicing their rights as early as possible.”
This led the conversation back to the relevancy of Undi18. Nadia Malyanah mentioned that Undi18 is extremely important for youths as they are the determiners of the nation’s fate.
Nadia expressed how improving our education system by changing it to discussion-based instead of lecture-based can encourage students to have their own opinions and develop their mind to have a firm stance politically.
“Practising and understanding campus elections can be a stepping point for students to prepare themselves for future national elections that can determine our country’s destiny,” Nadia said.
The power of youths in changing the future should not be underestimated, so students should grab the chance to exercise their rights and do their parts. This seems to be the message from the dialogue.
The online dialogue held on Tuesday (6 April) was conducted from 9 p.m to 9.50 p.m. For more insightful information, students are highly encouraged to watch the recorded interview on the IIUMtv YouTube channel. ***