PUTRAJAYA: While parents and teachers play an influential role in raising their children's political awareness, they must be careful so as to allow youngsters to make their own decisions, says Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong.
"They need to teach the young generation about Malaysian democracy but we need a system where it can be effectively taught," said the MCA president.
He added that youngsters were likely to form ideas on political matters by observing their parents' behaviour but such lessons did not always go as planned.
He said youngsters needed to be trained to think rationally before they were 18 so that they could form their own opinions.
"A bad example is demonising a party using rough words, which could influence their views. It is better to let them make their own decisions.
"Don't be too obsessed with determining their views or ideas for them. This can be dangerous," he said.
He added that schools should not be turned into political battlegrounds.
Dr Wee admitted that actions taken under the University and University College Act 1971 had created fear and gave students the wrong impression about having political opinions.
NGOs and political parties also needed to act accordingly so youngsters could develop a healthy view of politics, he said during the Elections Commission's "Make a Change Let's Do It Together" forum.
Meanwhile, EC chairman Azhar Azizan Harun said he intended to meet with the Education Ministry to discuss the possibility of introducing a voters' education module.
"The module could be implemented in the early years of education like in Australia where it starts in Year Three," he said.
He said the module would be aimed at teaching pupils their voting rights and would not be a form of indoctrination.
"I promise this module will only happen with the approval of both the government and opposition. We will be bipartisan all the way," he said.