PETALING JAYA: A majority of youths are still undecided on their political preferences, a survey has found.
The three-part Youth Aspiration Manifesto survey was carried out by Architects of Diversity (AOD) in collaboration with Undi18 and UndiNegaraku and involved 3,089 respondents aged 18 to 30 nationwide.
AOD co-founder Jason Wee said 41% of the respondents were unsure who to vote for in the upcoming 15th General Election.
"Our results demonstrate that while most youth intend to vote, many are still unsure who to vote for,” he told a press conference on Wednesday (May 25).
However, he added that the survey showed Barisan Nasional parties collectively having the most support among youth currently, with a margin of 15.5%.
It is followed by Perikatan Nasional (13.8%), Malaysian United Democratic Alliance or Muda (11.9%) and Pakatan Harapan (10.5%).
Wee said with a significant portion of youth having no political leanings, political parties could restate their electoral policies to win over the young voters.
“Based on the survey results, socio-economic issues remain the primary concern among youth.
“Political parties need to rearticulate how they can make Malaysia a more equal place in terms of having access to socioeconomic justice,” he added, citing quality standard of living as an example.
By addressing young people's concerns as electoral issues, Wee said, political parties would also be able to motivate them to come out and vote.
"Political parties should take heed and ensure to include youth as a campaign priority if they want to capture what could be a pivotal electorate,” he said.
The survey also found that 80% of youth have reported intentions to vote in the upcoming election while 13% are on the fence.
“While most youth have not voted before (55%), 80% of those surveyed reported an intention to vote.
“Compared to the 41% that reported having voted in an election previously, this figure may indicate strong youth forces in the electoral direction,” Wee said.
He added that 50% of respondents said there were too few women in politics, with 33% saying there were just enough.
In terms of youth representation, almost two-thirds (63%) of respondents said there were too few young people in politics and 22% said there were just enough.
Youth were split when it came to racial minority representation, with a third (34%) saying there were just enough and another third (33%) believing there were too few.