Voting Behaviour Among the Youth in Malaysia

Thursday, July 17, 2014: 5:45 PM
Room: 315
Oral Presentation
Sivamurugan PANDIAN , Universiti Sains Malaysia, Penang, Malaysia
Malaysia’s 13th General Election held on 5 May 2013 was one of the most exciting General Election in Malaysia’s political history. The result showed that the ruling party (National Front) and the opposition coalition (People’s Alliance) contested closely in the 222 Parliamentary seats. Although the results showed a rather status quo in favour of the ruling party, the opposition coalition managed to increase their seats to 89  compared to 82 from the 2008 12th General Election while the seats obtained by the ruling party reduced to 133 from 140 seats. This paper examines the young voters’ voting patterns to determine the significant of this bloc of voters as both coalition parties were trying to get this inscrutable voters, comprised 40% of the electorate. 12,912,590 registered as voters and the 40% belong to the 21 to 39 years old age group. Before the election, almost 65% of them were labelled as ‘fence sitters’ who were mostly non-partisan and were seen as the deciders. National Youth Survey by The Asia Foundation  indicated that the political thinking of the youths in Malaysia are not static but have changed accordingly. This new shift allows this paper to discuss the position of the youth in Malaysia’s 13th General Election; which party benefit from their role and whether youth were the deciding factor or kingmakers in Malaysian politics as reflected before the General Election.