Many first-time voters in Sibu still undecided on their choice for GE15

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Alvin Sia, 23, said he would have no choice but to cast his vote come Nov 19 in light of the implementation of automatic voter registration. – Bernama photo

SIBU (Nov 5): Three to four out of 10 young voters here particularly those who will be casting their ballots for the first time are believed to be undecided despite the approaching polling day.

Alvin Sia, 23, said he would have no choice but to cast his vote come Nov 19 in light of the implementation of automatic voter registration.

“I (thought) I may not register myself as a voter until the time is ripe. I mean to say that I need to be certain that I know politics well before becoming a voter.

“With the automatic voter registration, like it or not, I am obligated to exercise my democratic right. It would be a shame if I miss this election even though I have limited knowledge about the candidates,” the young entrepreneur told The Borneo Post yesterday.

Alvin Sia

Sia, who is a Lanang voter, admitted that he had no clue who the incumbent is.

Despite so, he said he would pay close attention to the candidates for Lanang after nomination, which is happening today.

The young voter said his peers more or less shared his thoughts, that it seemed like there were choices of candidates or parties but none of them was what they preferred.

He felt that it was not like young people had no idea what they wanted, but they might be left with not much choice.

“When you’re in a dilemma of which to pick, you may end up making the wrong pick. For this election, I feel that young voters have to pick the better one among the bad apples,” said Sia.

The young voter pointed out that an elected representative must be a problem-solver instead of being sent to Dewan Rakyat just to occupy a seat.

According to him, there are unsolved issues such as poor road conditions and irrigation system that leaves much to be desired in the Lanang area, on top of the fact that Sibu town has not received much development all these years.

“Personally, an MP is duty-bound to solve problems faced by the people. I grew up in Lanang area, and all these years, during rainy season coupled with King tide, Jalan Tekan and Jalan Aman areas are still facing flash floods since they are located by the river.

“Even though my house is not directly affected by flash flood, but Jalan Tekan and Jalan Aman are the access way which I need to get through. It’s causing inconvenience when flash floods happen,” he said.

Sia claimed that the access way near his residence had sinking issue and they had to complain to the local authority to do resurfacing every now and then.

“We have to complain to SMC (Sibu Municipal Council) to do road maintenance. More often than not, such maintenance work is carried out once in a long while,” he lamented.

Subscribing to the notion of every vote counts, he said he would make sure to learn more about what Lanang candidates had to offer during the coming election campaign in order to cast his vote with wisdom.

He added that he looked forward to the manifesto of every candidate although he personally felt that opposition leaders were more approachable.

Another first-time voter Allyn Su, 25, will be flying home from Kuala Lumpur on Nov 8 to exercise her voting right in this parliamentary election.

“I am a little nervous about first-time voting, at the same time I look forward to it. To say that I’m excited about this election is an understatement,” she said.

Su, who is a Sibu voter and has been working in Kuala Lumpur, conceded that she knew nothing much about the political development back at home.

Allyn Su

“I will learn more about the candidates later on. I believe my family will keep me well informed.”

She said she grew up knowing only ‘Three-Circles’ (the party logo of Sarawak United People’s Party) and ‘Rocket’ (Democratic Action Party’s logo), thanks to casual talks within her family.

She added: “All I am aware of is that they are there to serve the people.”

Asked if she knew any politicians, Su said: “Michael Tiang (Pelawan assemblyman). I come to know Michael Tiang via social media where he is proactive in responding to issues raised in Facebook page Sibu Chui Shui Zhan (Chit Chat).”

She said she had observed that Tiang would help solve problems raised through the Facebook page.

The young voter, who resides at Jalan Apollo here, said she also knew David Wong, Tiang’s predecessor. Wong was elected as Pelawan assemblyman for two terms – 2011 and 2016 under the DAP ticket.

“I will definitely won’t miss this election although I may not have much information about the candidates now. My family will loop me in later,” she said.