"Too Fresh-Faced" – UMNO's Norma Awang Says 18-Year-Olds Don't Understand Politics To Vote
On 16 July 2019, the Dewan Rakyat passed the Constitution (Amendment) Bill 2019 to lower voting age in federal and state elections from 21 to 18 years old.
However, Kedah UMNO speaker Datuk Norma Awang raised objection to the Bill at the party's general assembly held yesterday, 12 January.
According to The Vibes, the Jerai UMNO division delegate concluded that the 15th General Election (GE15) was proof that the minimum voting age should have been raised from 18 to 23 years old.
Norma attributed UMNO's unprecedented loss in GE15 to "anarchist" young voters who consumed "slanderous" material against the party on social media.
The UMNO delegate also claimed that UMNO and Barisan Nasional (BN) were not "hip enough" to obtain the young vote.
"UMNO and BN are not hip enough to win over the hearts of young voters who subscribe to the latest trends. Instead, (first-time voters) chose to uphold gutter-mouth political leaders who constantly talk badly about others," the UMNO delegate said.
Norma also deemed 18-year-old voters as "too fresh-faced" for politics and asserted that these youths did not fully understand political matters
"In terms of Malaysia, 18-year-olds have barely finished SPM. Even their underwear is still bought by their parents. They lack comprehension of elections, voting, the democratic system, and how their ballots affect the formation of the government and its policies" the UMNO delegate asserted.
Norma compared the maturity of Malaysian youths to their international counterparts, claiming that Malaysian youngsters had different education levels to their peers overseas.
"In many Western countries, 18-year-olds are already pursuing their masters or PhDs, but our youths are busy getting addicted to ketum leaves, messing around on TikTok, and experiencing puppy love," the UMNO speaker said.
With these points, Norma maintained her stance of raising the minimum voting age to 23 as she believes the youth should have at least finished their undergraduate studies by then.
Some first-time voters also felt that #Undi18 was a mistake: