Tharma Pillai and Qyira Yusri, the co-founders of Undi18, have just been named in Forbes' 30 Under 30 Asia list
Tharma and Qyira are named under the social impact category for their advocacy in pushing for a constitutional amendment that allows Malaysian youths aged 18 and above to vote
They are aged 27 and 26 respectively.
"In 2016, Pillai and Yusri started Undi18, a student movement to give 18-year-olds the right to vote in Malaysia," Forbes wrote on its list published today, 20 April.
"After three years of advocacy, the government passed a constitutional amendment to lower the voting age from 21 to 18, creating eight million new voters (about 25% of Malaysia's population), according to Undi18."
The US business magazine added that Undi18 fights for youth representation in politics as a social enterprise, exemplified by organising, in 2020, a virtual simulated Parliament sitting for local youths to propose recommendations for economic and COVID-19 relief in Malaysia.
"(It is) the first of its kind in the world, which attracted 500,000 livestream views," it said.
Both Tharma and Qyira were over the moon after they learnt that they were named in the prestigious list
The list was made after sorting out 2,500 nominations, with research done by Forbes journalists from across the region and vetted by industry veterans
The panellists for the social impact category were Crossboards Foundation director Sally Begbie, Shiv Nadar Foundation trustee Roshni Nadar Malhotra, and Save The Children Australia chief operating officer Paul Ronalds.
Other categories on the list are entertainment and sports, media, marketing and advertising, retail and e-commerce, enterprise technology, and arts.
"The criteria for honorees making the list include their demonstration of leadership, how they embody the entrepreneurial spirit that is synonymous with Forbes, and their potential of success in their industry. Other factors like innovation, disruption — and size and growth of their ventures in some categories — play a role in making the final decision," it said.
This is the sixth year that Forbes has curated the list to highlight amazing achievements of innovative millennial and Gen Z leaders in Asia
Although the Federal Constitution was amended to allow 18-year-old Malaysians to vote in the next election, the Election Commission (EC) said the move can only be implemented in 2022: