That sentiment above has become synonymous with what most young people think about politics.
Most of us would have heard our peers saying this at some point in our lives - from teh tarik sessions at the mamak, to internet rants and when speaking about elections.
Young people generally dissociate themselves from the complexities of politics and most people would rather discuss anything but politics.
However, this is understandable as politics have always been associated with the older generation, corruption and trouble. We read it in the papers, see it in the news and now, with the power of social media, news of both local and global politics have seeped into our lives and news feed.
While some choose to use this influx of information on politics as a way to participate and understand politics better, most still shun the idea due to the negative perceptions attached to it.
How To Be More Politically Aware As A Young Working Adult
"Change will not take place without political participation." - Sen. Bernie Sanders
22 Jul 2016, 08:37 PM
"Why should I care about politics? It has nothing to do with me."
That sentiment above has become synonymous with what most young people think about politics.
Until 2008, politics was something that very few people discussed in Malaysia but the wake up call came in the form of the 12th General Elections that lead to a 'political tsunami' in the country
It was the first time since the 1969 elections that Barisan Nasional failed to build a government on a two-third majority win.
The election was dubbed by some as the '2008 tsunami election' as it saw a large number of local voters opting for opposition leaders instead of the ruling party's candidates.
Less than a year before the 2008 general elections, Bersih (Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections) held its first ever rally on 10 November 2007 which made several demands, including the usage of indelible election ink, abolition of postal votes, a thorough update on the registered electoral roll, and a fair access to media for all parties.
The rally brought on a renewed political interest among Malaysians and raised awareness on issues that aren't usually discussed on mainstream media.
While that led to a fresh batch of Malaysians changing their perception on politics, many still shy away from it
So, why should you care?
The Oxford Dictionary defines politics as the activities associated with the governance of a country or area, especially the debate between parties have power.
To put it simply, politics is what shapes the society and the country that we live in - from the price of goods, the taxes you pay, and the laws that determine what you can and cannot do -all these decisions are made by government institutions.
Politics influences every aspect of your life. It is the government that ensures and determines the water and electricity supply that you use daily, makes the laws pertaining to your working conditions, the education system you receive and whether your country remains a [safe and peaceful place](http://says.com/my/news/shooting-cases-in-malaysia-2016) to live in.
With that in mind, know that politics holds the golden key to decision making in a country
We may easily dismiss it and think that we are in no way tied to these major decisions but as citizens of a democratic country, we have the power to voice our thoughts and make significant changes to the system.
A high level of awareness and active participation in local politics will allow you to materialise the changes you have in mind for the kind of country that you wish to live in.
Being politically aware does not mean that you need to become a politician or completely immerse yourself in the world of politics.
It translates into being informed about your rights as a citizen and understanding the decisions made by the government.
Although we don’t have the direct power to create laws and regulations, as citizens, we have the absolute power to elect the representatives that decide on these rules
Political systems allow the government and its people to establish sound policies that would contribute to both the country and the people.
Failure to elect the right leaders that make up the government can result in a shaky nation with unsatisfied citizens.
Political awareness will also teach you the importance of a stable and just government. War-torn countries like Syria and Somalia show us how instability can lead to coups and wars that leave nothing but bloodbaths and deaths of millions of people.
A look into the politics of large democracies like India and the United States will tell you how much influence people have over economic, education, healthcare, and policies.
So how does someone become more politically aware?
1. Start by understanding the political system your country subscribes to
The most important thing to know in order to become more politically aware is to understand the basics of the system.
The Malaysian politics follows the constitutional monarchy and parliamentary democracy of federal and state level. Our constitutional monarchy adheres to the Westminster Parliamentary System and is categorised as a representative democracy. The head of the Malaysian government is the elected prime minister that also heads the Cabinet.
These information will then help you understand the hierarchy of leaders in the country and who answers to who. This is the first step towards understanding the limitations and quirks of your country's political system.
2. Read up on the constitution and laws of the country
This is crucial as a citizen of a country. Reading up on hundreds of pages of laws and constitution may seem tedious and ridiculous even, especially if you're not pursing a college major related to it but the constitution is the backbone of a country.
The [Federal Constitution of Malaysia](http://www.jac.gov.my/images/stories/akta/federalconstitution.pdf) is a piece of carefully crafted document that sets the tone and defines the rights and responsibilities of the federal government, the member states of the federation and the citizens.
It is the document that highlights highly important articles like The Right to Life and Liberty (Article 5), No Slavery (Article 6) and Freedom of Speech, Assembly and Association (Article 10), to name a few.
Knowing what the constitution says and the laws of your country is useful and may even help you when in trouble. Know your rights. Article 5: Right To Life and Liberty states that "a person has the right to be informed of the reasons of his arrest and to be legally represented by a lawyer for his choice". Also, a person cannot be held under arrest for more than 24 hours without the permission of the Magistrate.
3. Stay updated on local and global news. Ask questions.
Not all of us enjoy reading lengthy news articles that talk about politicians, economics, business, accidents, and latest developments in the country.
However, it is crucial to know what's happening in the country in order for you to learn and predict the kind of changes that may happen.
It could be a simple news piece on the increase in electricity tariffs. What caused the price hike? How often has it increased in one year? What are the reasons given by the authorities?
Also, remember to remain objective and seek for legit information when reading articles on current issues. Always check the source and read diversely before making a conclusion on an issue.
4. If you’ve reached the legal age of 21, register as a voter and exercise your rights as one
Firstly, remember that every single vote is equally valuable and contributes to the decision making process.
The legal voting age for Malaysians is set at 21. All you need to do to register is to head to the nearest post office and fill up the voter registration form called Form A. Alternatively, Malaysians can also download it from the Election Commission's website [here](http://www.spr.gov.my/), fill it in and submit it to the EC's voter registration counter.
As of late last year, only about 13.3 million of Malaysians are registered as voters. The local population is about 30 million currently.
Voting isn't as complicated as some may think it is. Make sure you read up on the candidates running for elections in your constituency, the policies they are fighting for, their track record, and the parties they belong to (if any).
Making a decision can be tricky but remember, you are voting for the person who will be representing your constituency. He or she should bring development and progress to your area.
Being politically aware is an effortless process of merely integrating yourself into the society
Many mistake being politically aware with being involved in political parties. Political awareness will give you the needed platform to wisely use your voice.
The next time you find yourself complaining about an issue, remember that there is something you can do about it.
It is never too late, but passive citizens waste on their freedom to exercise their rights with every passing year. Use your voice to make concrete, positive changes that will improve the condition of our country.
"One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors." - Plato