Sunday, September 25, 2022

Political leaders and parties must show good example

Secara Rawak

KUCHING:  Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (UNIMAS) political analyst Dick Lembang Dugun  said it is about time that youths are tasked with taking up important posts in political parties.

“The veteran leaders must have the will to give opportunities to the youths – engagement is important to attract and associate them with politics,” he said.

Lembang also said political parties and leaders must show good example to the youths in managing both the party and the state.

“They must be good leaders and lead with integrity, accountability and practise good governance,” he said.

With uncertainties clouding the nation’s political situation, many including youths are becoming jaded with politics and politicians.

Lembang said the fatigue in politics must be addressed by political parties and the government by reaching out and empowering them.

“Lack of exposure and interest towards politics are some issues affecting the youths around the country especially in rural areas. There is also a lack of opportunities given to them, politically or economically.

“It is never too late for political parties to empower the youths if they are sincere and have the political will to do so – increase youth candidacy during elections and give the platform for youths in politics.”

At the same time, Lembang also stressed the importance of political literacy among the youths with the implementation of Undi18.

“The government must introduce topics or subjects on democracy, politics and leadership early in our education system, starting from Form 3.

“Good governance values must be instilled – with early exposure, we can create good leaders in the future. Civic education is important for youths to be politically literate,” he said.

Meanwhile. Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS) senior lecturer Dr Lee Kuok Tiung said while political maturity and literacy is important, its assessment is subjective as there are adults who are still immature politically.

He said this can be seen among politicians who are perspective bias, accusing those not voting for them as being immature.

“If these voters end up voting for them, they will claim that the voters have more awareness on topics of national interest,” he said.

Lee said political maturity among youths in Sarawak, Sabah and Peninsular Malaysia are not comparable due to the different political set ups that are available in the three regions as well as differing political landscape.

On youth participation, the academician said there are many platforms for youths to participate in at all levels, be it in schools or universities.

“There are also platforms for those who have started working – all of these are inclusive and were set up by NGOs and government agencies.

“The question will be how many of the youths want to participate in this? We cannot assess participation by looking only at political parties,” he said.

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