May 4, 2021, the UCSI Poll Research Centre released a poll result on the “The Aspirations of Malaysian Youth in Politics”. The poll was conducted among 958 people aged between 21 and 30 years old in Malaysia and the margin of sampling error for this sample size was +/- 3%.

The respondents were asked whether they had registered as a voter. 45.1% of the respondents already registered.  33.5% of the respondents were planning to register as a voter.  21.5% of the respondents did not want to register as a voter.  Subsequently, the respondents were asked whether they had the intention to cast their vote in the general election.  66.9% of the respondents said ‘YES’ and the remaining 33.1% of the respondents said ‘NO’. This showed that these youths are ready to make the difference in the coming general election.

In this survey, the respondents were asked further if they felt that their generation was better off than their parents’.  63.3% of the respondents chose ‘YES’ and the remaining chose ‘NO’.  The respondents were asked to choose the most important goal in their life and the results are shown in the table below.

From the table above, we can see that the respondents focused on self-fulfillment and psychological needs.

The respondents were also asked whether they felt that they could play a role in solving problems within the community.  18.9% disagreed with the statement, 22.6% chose to be neutral and 58.5% agreed with the statement.  The respondents were then asked whether they thought that the country was moving in a right direction.  35.0% disagreed with the statement, 27.1% chose to be neutral and 37.9% agreed with the statement.  The youths clearly have developed their thoughts and have taken their stand on certain issues.  The government can expect to hear different opinions from the youth.

The survey continued with the current national issues that the respondents were concerned with and the respondents were allowed to choose more than one option.  55.0% of the respondents chose the lack of job opportunities for youth, 52.0% chose general economic situation, 50.5% chose corruption, 45.8% chose crime or violence or personal security, 45.2% chose political stability, 41.2% chose inflation or high prices, 35.6% chose government competence, 28.3% chose public healthcare, 25.5% chose education, 1.1% chose others and only 1.1% of the respondents claimed that they were not concerned with national issues.  The government will need to solve the problem of job opportunities for youth if they want to gain their support.

This survey also investigated the access of information on the part of the respondents.  The respondents were allowed to choose more than one answer.  71.4% of the respondents obtained information from social media, 51.1% from the internet or email, 42.1% from WhatsApp/Telegram /Line/WeChat, 42.0% from television, 41.6% from friends or family members, 28.9% from newspapers, 23.7% from radio, 9.1% from neighbours or the community and 8.5% from SMS.  The social media is clearly playing an important role in delivering information and has become the main channel for the youth to obtain information.

In this survey, we found that the youth generally have a positive outlook towards the country and they are more concerned with self-fulfillment and psychological needs. There are a few national issues that concern them and the lack of job opportunities is one of the leading issues. This survey also found that the youth are ready to voice out their thoughts regarding current issues around them, making decisions and even voting in the coming general election.

About UCSI Poll Research Centre The UCSI Poll Research Centre (UCSI-PRC) is a public opinion research company owned by the UCSI Group. Its main objective is to utilise original and scientific research methodologies to investigate and analyse public opinions and attitudes.

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