Undi18 Higher Education Ministry must help students build political savvy, says the minister.



Shah Alam (Jan 27): Ministry of Higher Education (MOHE) plays a part in training students at higher learning institutes (IPT) for being dynamic and building political awareness in the wake of the introduction of Undi18.

Minister Datuk Seri Datuk Seri Noraini Ahmad said this was crucial because the group needs to discern a certain level of depth and knowledge of the nation’s political development literature to help them become future leaders.

“In fact, following the amendment to the Universities and University Colleges Act (AUKU) in the year 2019 to take out Section 15 (2) (c) students must be taught how to participate in political activities while on campus, as a suitable method before going out into the community.

“In an interim report on a political literacy study on IPTA students conducted by MOHE last year, the findings show political literacy among students can be further improved by strengthening fundamental elements of value, namely appreciation, and implementation of existing policies and acts at the various levels,” she said.

She stated that about 452,559 people, which is 38 percent out of 1.2 million IPT students under MOHE’s supervision MOHE, were aged 18 and 20 following the Constitution (Amendment) Bill 2019 to reduce the age of voting that the Dewan Rakyat approved on July 16, 2021. The bill will see automatic voter registration and the eligibility to vote in elections reduced to 18.

She stated this in her address during the signing ceremony of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM) and the Election Commission (EC) as and the release of the UiTM DNA Study Formation Report Book Today, we are here.

Meanwhile, Noraini said the collaboration between UiTM and the EC was considered a positive step by the university to initiate the Voter Education Awareness Programme as voter awareness and education must be expanded into other IPTs.

“I believe that with constant efforts and collaboration, students will be exposed and trained to understand their rights and obligations as voters since this would decide the future of the nation and make them future leaders of the next generation.

“UiTM is among the biggest institutions in Malaysia with a student population of 185,400 pupils across the nation. Of this number, 85,201 students who are 46 percent are aged between 18 and 20 years old and are part of this year’s Undi 18 implementation. This represents nearly 19 percent of the overall number of pupils in IPTs under MOHE,” she said.

In the MoU signing ceremony, UiTM vice-chancellor Professor Roziah Mohd Jabor represented UiTM, while the EC was represented by the chairman, Datuk Abdul Ghani Salah. – Bernama.

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