GE15: Young voters thrilled to vote for the first time

KUALA LUMPUR – Excitement and thrill are clearly seen on the faces of young voters aged 18 and above as they dip their index finger in the indelible ink bottle to cast their ballot for the first time in the 15th general election (GE15) nationwide.

Their fervent hope to see their elected representatives helm the country’s administration was shown by  their early presence at the polling station with friends, siblings and family members.

Aqilah Azreen, 18, who arrived at Sekolah Kebangsaan Taman Maluri at 8.37 am today shared her joy of finally being able to exercise her civic duty as a Malaysian despite having to vote in the pouring rain.

“I am excited because I have never voted before. As I was going out to vote, my parents advised me to make the right choice and put a cross properly on the ballot paper,” she told Bernama.

A student from Datuk Razali Ismail Institute of Teacher Education (IPG) Terengganu campus, Ahmad Izzuddin Abd Rahman, 20, said he voted at Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Peramu Jaya, Pahang and was already queuing at the polling station as early as 7.30am.

Accompanied by a friend, Ahmad Izzuddin expressed his pride and relief at being able to fulfil his responsibility to the country.

“I hope that my voice will steer Malaysia to a better direction, Insya Allah (God willing),” he said.

The same enthusiasm was shared by four siblings  K. Ganesh Kumar, 20, K. Divya Karasi, 21, and their sisters K. Salini Devi, 29, and K. Sundara Darshini, 28, who cast their votes at the Chong Hwa Private High School polling centre in Jalan Ipoh here.

They were present together at the polling station to vote for the Batu parliamentary seat.

“I did my research on the candidates contesting for the seat before choosing a credible and worthy candidate. I hope the chosen candidate can help the community,” said Divya, who also shared that he felt nervous when she saw the list of names on the nomination paper.

Meanwhile, Ganesh said that he could not sleep well yesterday because he could not wait to vote today.

“I was awakened two or three times and I kept looking at the clock to see it was time to get up to go to the polling station with my sisters,” said the private university student.

Another teenage voter in Bandar Tun Razak  Muhammad Nabil Wale Wan Ghazali, 18, also shared his excitement as a first-time voter. He was happy to exercise his right at the polling station in Sekolah Kebangsaan Seri Anggerik, Cheras here.

“When I got to the polling station, I was nervous because I did not know the voting process, but I was thankful that there were officials to help me. After casting my vote, I was so pleased with myself.

“I hope that with my vote, the right leader will chosen for the country,” said Muhammad Nabil who was present with his mother Noraini Hamid, aged 66.

Based on the electoral roll age statistics, as of Oct 9,  a total of 1,393,549 voters aged between 18 and 20 in the country will vote for the first time in the GE15, comprising 16 per cent of the 6.9 million new voters who were automatically registered when Undi18 was implemented.

This came following Parliament’s approval of the proposed amendment of Section 3(a) and (b) of the Constitution (Amendment) Act 2019 in relation to lowering of the voting age limit from 21 to 18 years, in July 2019. – Bernama / graphic TMR