Malaysia, politics and the younger generation – survey
KUALA LUMPUR – A national survey conducted by KAJIDATA Research revealed that an astounding 88.4% of Malaysian youths are politically aware. This study amongst young Malaysians was conducted to ascertain what they thought about the current general and political issues in Malaysia.
The respondents were asked which political party that were closest to their hearts and a majority of 51.8% stated that they are unsure. 23.5% responded for Barisan Nasional and Pakatan Harapan trailing with 18.2%. PAS only received a mere 6.5%. Further analysis revealed that Chinese (68%) are the highest in terms of unsure of which political party that are closest to their hearts. For those who responded for a political party, a trend that emerged was that Barisan Nasional is largely supported by Malays (27%), Bumiputera Sabah (35%) and Bumiputera Sarawak (38%), whilst Chinese (21%) and Indians (36%) opted for Pakatan Harapan.
When questioned which political party would be able to develop and improve the nation, 53.1% stated that they are not sure. 23.7% responded for Barisan Nasional, 11.6% for Pakatan Harapan, 5.1% for PAS and the balance 6.5% do not care for the matter.
Further along the survey, respondents were asked to select which party that they felt would win in the upcoming general elections. A majority of 56.% responded with unsure, followed by Barisan Nasional (24.9%), Pakatan Harapan (12.4%) and PAS (6.5%). When asked which party that they are most likely to vote for, majority (52.5%) proceeded with the unsure option. The trend continued with BN leading with 24.2%, PKR (7.8%), PAS (7.1%), DAP (2.6%), PPBM (1.9%), AMANAH (0.7%), Other Parties (1.2%) and the balance 1.9% suggested that they are not going to vote.
In expressing their views on what politicians can do to bridge the gap between them, 80% of the respondents’ views are centred around:
- Listening to their opinions (27.3%)
- Conducting surveys to ascertain their real concerns / perceptions (22%)
- Organising forums with the youth (14.2%)
- Engaging youths in developing government policies (13.9%)
The findings show that 85.1% of the youths in Malaysia have a clear goal in life to determine their future. 80% of the respondents’ life goals are centred around working towards a happy family life (30.5%), becoming a successful person in life (15%), owning assets such as home / car / etc (13.4%), becoming a useful member of the community (11.9%) and gaining success in business / owning company or shop (9.9%).
However, when asked if the current policies put forth by the government are helping the youth to achieve their future goals, 36% said yes whilst 29.3% said no with the balance 34.7% responded that they are not sure. The respondents (40.9%) also stated while they felt the implementation of policies are mostly wasteful and inefficient, almost half of the respondents at 46.7% revealed that they believe that the government’s policies are pragmatically redrafted and updated for the benefit of the public. This sentiment was reinforced with 40.3% of the respondents stating that they believe that the government knows what is best for the country.
In concluding the study, KAJIDATA Advisor, Professor Dato’ Sri Dr. Syed Arabi Idid said that other than the reported figures and sentiment, the survey also revealed that 80% of the respondents are greatly influenced by their family (54%), successful entrepreneurs (9.5%), religious leaders (8.5%) and teachers (6.8%). He also opined that even though most youth are politically aware, they are still not politically savvy. This was revealed when majority of the respondents stated that they were unsure when questioned about political parties and issues. Furthermore, this resounding sentiment is shared by all ethnicity in the country. As such, this pattern should be taken into serious consideration by all political parties as this is a large segment that is politically eager and impressionable but still have yet to decide which party they identify most with. Ignoring which could result in a loss of a large portion of potential voters.
The opinion poll was carried out by KAJIDATA Research Sdn. Bhd. The poll was conducted from 16 May 2017 to 1 June 2017 to ascertain the political perception of youths in Malaysia. A total of 1,000 Malaysian young adults aged 21 to 35 comprising of 58.1% Malays, 20% Chinese, 9.5% Indians, 8.0% Bumiputra Sabah, 3.3% Bumiputra Sarawak, 0.3% Orang Asli and 0.8% Others were interviewed by telephone in the poll. Respondents were selected on the basis of random stratified sampling along ethnicity, gender, age and state according to the national demographics. The survey was conducted via Computer Aided Telephone Interview (CATI). The complete cross-tabulation report can be obtained by contacting KAJIDATA Research.