The Impact of Lowering of Voting Age to 18 in Malaysia

by Wong Siaw Ting

November 2020


This study focuses on the political attitudes, experiences, habits and role of young voters in Malaysia. Since the Government of Malaysia lowered the age of voting from 21 to 18 years old, this category of young voters became the most vital and arguably most important in Malaysia’s history.

This law changes impacted young voters’ experience and their political habits for the development of Malaysia for the upcoming years. Design, methodology approach on relevant theoretical and empirical research on these topics were reviewed and interviews were conducted with many young voters.

They were asked to reflect on their voting behaviour, academic experiences; and their interpretations of factors that encouraged or discouraged their habits and dispositions toward votings. The majority of participants reported that they would first vote in the upcoming General Election 15.

Many participants also reported a reluctance to discuss political issues with family members and friends. Originality and value building on theories regarding the role of voter turnout for democracy and juxtaposing them with competing views on politics.

In light of the struggles for suffrage and against voter suppression in Malaysia, this well-researched thesis argues that leaders can take action better to prepare young voters for participation in electoral politics.

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