Youth association and organizations in Sarawak yesterday were reminded take heed of the after-effects of last general election that show growing tendency among young people to support the opposition.

Ismail Sabri presented grant of RM189,000 to be distributed to youth
associations throughout Sarawak.

Minister of Youth and Sport Datuk Ismail Sabri Yaakob said the Barisan Nasional government lost many seats including five states in the peninsula as a result of younger voters swing their support to the opposition.

According to Sabri findings of research conducted by Malaysia Youth Development Research Institute revealed 60 percent of these young voters were supporting the opposition instead of BN.

“If this is not dealt with fast, the impact of coming elections on BN may be more disastrous”, he predicted at a function in Kuching yesterday.

As such he called on youth bodies in the state to organize programmes that can attract youth participation, or they will stay away from BN.

“We cannot underestimate the power of these young voters,” he said. “They must be empowered not seen as threats.

“They should be given more space to participate with our programmes as they represent the next echelon of leaders in our country,” he added.

Ismail Sabri said there were about 11.6 million youths (those aged between 15 to 40 year), but less than 10 percent of them actually belong to youth association or body in the country.

He pointed out that the lack of funds was the biggest obstacle to the success of youth bodies in the state.

To be fair to all the associations, the money allocated to the youth bodies would be based on the percentage of their membership and also the types of activities they would organize, Ismail said.

He added that for the associations to receive the funds they must be a registered,active and had their own bank accounts.

*Reporting by Samuel Aubery (BP) and edited by Bintulu.Org