IPOH: Perak ruler Sultan Nazrin Muizzuddin Shah is urging youngsters to cast their votes based on rationality and facts, and not on sentiment and emotions.
“It was forecast that 15 million or 66% of the voters would be between 18 and 40, which means that the youth will have the dominant political voice to elect the government and choose their leaders.
“Choosing a government is serious because the people and the country depend on those given the power to form the government, ” he said in his speech during the 48th convocation ceremony of Politeknik Ungku Omar here yesterday.
Citing Socrates, Sultan Nazrin said the Greek philosopher had reminded the people that only those who are able to think of issues rationally and deeply should be given voting rights.
“Socrates understood how easy candidates can offer themselves to be voted, exploiting voters with solutions that sounded easy, promising things that voters wanted to hear. Socrates also gave a reminder how dangerous it was to have a government based on mob rule and demagoguery, ” he said.
Sultan Nazrin said youths needed to be guided so they can understand the meaning and practice of a constructive democracy, government system, administration system, the process of forming a government, and important elements that a leader should have.
“They need to be guided to have good moral values that are based on law, to have the maturity to evaluate between the good and the bad, the wisdom to differentiate between facts and allegations, and between a diamond and glass, ” he said.
“Therefore, the development of personality and identity should be cultivated and made as a component in the country’s education content, ” he said.
Sultan Nazrin also said that having the law amended by lawmakers to redefine “youth” as those aged between 15 and 30 would compel youth organisations to be led by those aged below 30.
“It is a step towards entrusting them with leadership responsibility. The amendment can be interpreted as a road towards helping the maturity process of the youths and a democratic innovation to enhance and widen their involvement in decision making and voicing out opinions, ” he said.
Sultan Nazrin also reminded the youth to abide by the spirit of inclusiveness.
“It was the principle and political philosophy of our late Father of Independence, Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra, and the coalition of leaders, when working towards the country’s independence.
“It was this spirit that gave Abdul Rahman a political victory, whereby he was supported by various races and religions, ” he said.
“It was also through this spirit, which was our magical mantra, to defeat the propaganda and ambitions of the Malayan Communist Party, to overcome the threat during the Confrontation Era, to heal wounds from the May 13 incident, and come through various economic crises, ” he said.
He also said the future of the country and its people should not be entrusted to groups with extreme racial and religious understanding, and those with narrow and short-term political aims should not be allowed to hijack the voice of unity and moderation.
“Our youth should understand and appreciate the importance of our unity and how each race appreciates and respects each other.
“It is important to avoid committing things that can hurt others’ feelings, deny the rights of one race or violate the basic things as agreed upon when forming the Federal Constitution, ” Sultan Nazrin said.
“Each citizen has the responsibility to defend the sovereignty of this country and to ensure it remains peaceful and prosperous.”