PETALING JAYA: What do teenaged and young first-time voters think about the recent passing of the Anti-Party Hopping Bill in Parliament? Do they even know about it?
The law is a key component of the memorandum of understanding (MOU) on political transformation and stability signed between the Federal Government and the Opposition in September last year. The MOU expired on July 31.
Meharvan Singh, 20, is in tune with politics, saying that the passing of the Bill is a big step towards resetting the country politically and helping reduce “foul play and dirty politics”.
The Kedahan said he was eager to exercise his rights and responsibility as a voter because he feels that youth play a crucial role in deciding Malaysia’s future.
He added that he followed Malaysian politics through the newspapers, news channels and social media.
“When I’m free, I also try to keep up with the live parliamentary sessions on TV or YouTube,” he said.
Nor Azyani Tsania Mohd Nor, 19, said the law would deter party-hopping among politicians which could lead to political instability.
The Negri Sembilan lass said she kept herself updated by having a pinned list for politics on her social media accounts, which will direct her to local news.
The mass communications student said her lecturers always discussed current affairs.
“Politics is always a topic that comes up,” she added.
A’isha Azarisman, 20, said she hoped that with the passing of the Bill, politicians would take the people’s well-being, rather than their own interests, more seriously.
The Pahang native said every vote counted and “the wrong vote can lead to horrible things”.
“I do discuss current events with my parents and friends, and keep up with politics to see what progress the government is bringing, and I feel it can do more,” she said.
Chok Jia Xi, 19, on the other hand, has no knowledge of the Bill but is nonetheless excited to have a say in the country’s leadership by casting her first vote in a general election.
“I think it is important for the people of the country, especially the younger generation, to choose our future leaders as we have different views of how we want our country to develop,” she said.
However, Chok, from Selangor, added that she was not particularly interested in politics.
Aiman Farhan Mohd Fisal, 20, views the anti-party hopping law as a positive move that would provide stability and prevent endless political squabbles.
However, the Perak-born student said he would not be voting in the 15th General Election as he did not have any specific party to vote for.
Kuala Lumpur-born Teoh You Xian, 19, conceded that he had very little knowledge of politics and what little he knew was through listening to his parents.
“I don’t know about the Bill,” he said, adding however that he would vote if he gets some understanding about Malaysian politics.
On Aug 10, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Parliament and Law) Datuk Seri Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar said the anti-party hopping legislation was just two steps away from being enforceable by mid-September.
The two steps are consent and a date of enforcement that are needed from the Yang di-Pertuan Agong.