I REFER to your front page headlines “The GE15 powerhouse” and “Two additions to voting Bill” (The Star, July 10 and 11; online at bit.ly/star_youth) reporting on the lowering of the voting age to 18.
Our youth must be empowered if they are to participate in national elections as active stakeholders.
There is no “one size fits all” approach to modelling what really constitutes youth empowerment. Obviously, our youth must have a good education in order to become responsible citizens of tomorrow.
The government can also look to other countries that have programmes along the themes of “Youth Voters Participation: Involving Today’s Young in Tomorrow’s Democracy”; National Employment Programme; Youth Enterprise and Skill Development Programme; Graduate Business Strategy Scheme, to name a few.
These youth programmes must be outlined in national policies and address areas such as employment, education, health, sports, and juvenile delinquency among others.
Our youth must strive for knowledge to influence policymaking and to exercise their political influence. The future of our country lies in their hands and it would be a great waste if their talent, skills and knowledge are not put to good use.
C. SATHASIVAM SITHERAVELLU