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Understanding the Impact of the Youth Vote

About the Seminar

Malaysia’s most recent historic bill, Undi18, lowered the voting age from 21 to 18 and allowed for automatic voter registration. Touted as a game-changer for Malaysia’s democracy, the bill, however, came with a series of unintended consequences. Chief among them was to create vastly unequal seats, where a vote in an urban constituency can be worth as little as one-eighth of a vote in a rural seat. Electoral flaws have long plagued the country, and the recent Undi18 exacerbated existing deficiencies to the point of making Malaysia one of the most malapportioned countries in the world. The ‘one person, one vote’ principle is violated, and potential political disengagement may happen, which contradicts the purpose of the Undi18 bill.

This webinar will consider the background of Undi18, the electoral system’s existing flaws, and the effects of severe malapportionment in Malaysia. In the final part, the webinar will also put forward potential remedies for the electoral condition and the likelihood of these measures being implemented in the near future.

About the Speaker

James Chai is a Visiting Fellow at the Malaysian Studies Programme at ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute. His research focus is on youth politics in Malaysia. James is a columnist who has written over 250 articles on Malaysia, and his work is found on Al Jazeera, NPR, MalaysiaKini, Sin Chew Daily and others. James is a graduate of University of Oxford and Queen Mary University of London.

Aug 11, 2022 10:00 AM in Singapore

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