RSIS Seminar by Mr Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad, People’s Justice Party (PKR) Youth Leader; and Selangor State Executive Councillor
Youth and Malaysia's Next General Elections
About the Lecture:
Young Malaysians are expected to play an increasingly decisive role in the next General Elections. The 2013 General Elections saw at least 2.3 million young voters on the rolls and this number is likely to have increased. Despite this, disillusionment and disengagement remain serious issues for political parties wishing to mobilize them. A recent survey by the Merdeka Center found that 57% of young Malaysian voters (aged 21—30), believe that the country is headed in the wrong direction. However, it was also reported by the Election Commission in March 2017 that some 4.1 Malaysians of all races have yet to register as voters, with the majority of them reportedly around 21 years old.
In this discussion, Pakatan Harapan and PKR Youth Leader Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad will seek to discuss ways in which the Pakatan Harapan alliance can win the youth vote. It is increasingly important for politicians to not only be united and have coherent policies, but also display authenticity in order to capture the imagination of the youth. While social media as well as its various manifestations is an important tool, it is not a be-all and end-all to attract young voters. Ultimately, politicians will need to not only be relevant to the youth but also provide them avenues to channel their energies as well as achieve their varied, often contradictory ideas as well and goals.
About the Speaker:
Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad is the Pakatan Harapan coalition Youth Leader; People’s Justice Party (PKR) Youth Leader; Selangor State Minister for Education, Human Capital Development, Science, Technology and Innovation; and State Assemblyman for Seri Setia.
Previously, Nik Nazmi obtained his LLB (Hons) from King’s College London and worked as an executive at Malaysian government-linked investment corporation PNB and Private Secretary to PKR Leader Anwar Ibrahim. In 2008, at 26 years old, he was elected as the Selangor State Assemblyman and was the youngest candidate to win in the general elections. He was appointed as Political Secretary to Selangor Chief Minister Khalid Ibrahim, then was appointed as PKR Communications Director. He defended his seat in the 2013 elections and was elected as the Deputy Speaker of the State Assembly.
He was elected as PKR Youth Leader in 2014. When Azmin Ali was appointed as the Selangor Chief Minister later that year, Nik Nazmi was assigned to the State Cabinet.
Nik Nazmi is presently the Chairman of the Universiti Selangor Board of Governors, a member of the Board of Directors of Universiti Selangor, Selangor Foundation and state-think tank Institut Darul Ehsan. He is also a founder and currently Patron of Mentari Project, a voluntary tuition project for the poor. Formerly he was Executive Director of the Open Dialogue Society and a member of the Cross Party Advisory Panel of the Center for Public Policy Studies-ASLI.
He is an author of several books in Malay and English. At the moment Nik Nazmi has columns in the Edge Malaysia, Sinar Harian (Malay) and Oriental Daily News (Mandarin).