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Govt's propaganda unit teaches students to vote ahead of state elections

An official denies political motives in the holding of the programme.

Azzman Abdul Jamal
2 minute read
Personnel from the Election Commission seen in this file picture.
Personnel from the Election Commission seen in this file picture.

The government's propaganda unit J-KOM organised a school-level programme to teach students about the voting process ahead of the elections expected to take place in six states this year. 

The Program Himpunan Anak Muda, organised by J-KOM in collaboration with the Election Commission (EC), was held at Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Agama Baling in Kedah on March 22. 

Approximately 200 students from three schools in the district were involved in the programme. 

A J-KOM official who declined to be named said the programme was aimed only at 18-year-olds in lower sixth, who would vote for the first time at the state elections to come. 

He said the students were taught the function and role of the EC and given a simulation of the voting process.

"The details of the programme were laid out together with the EC," he told MalaysiaNow. 

"The difference this time is that we had a simulation for student participation, so that they understand the voting process.

"This would give more value than just holding talks to explain the process." 

He said the students involved were from SMK Baling, SMK Kuala Ketil and SMK Kuala Pegang.

The programme came to light after Pasir Mas MP Ahmad Fadhli Shaari shared its details on Facebook earlier this week. 

Elections will be held this year in Selangor, Penang, Negeri Sembilan, Kelantan, Terengganu and Kedah. 

The J-KOM official denied that the programme had been held with political motives in order to campaign on behalf of the government. 

He said those who had voiced dissatisfaction with the programme might have misunderstood its aim. 

"We from the communications department, we always hold programmes with the community. 

"It's just that this time, we worked with the EC and the Kedah education department to enter the school.

"When we say community, we have to go to the entire community. We have also held programmes with the community at the local level, involving various ages.

"We have gone to matriculation colleges and tahfiz centres. This time, we decided to go to a school."