Polarisation among youths widening, study shows

Saturday, 19 April 2008

(NST) KUALA LUMPUR: There exists disturbing trends that must be urgently addressed to avoid the threat of an increasing racial polarisation among the young, a study revealed.

The study, involving 1,000 youths aged 18-35 years in Peninsular Malaysia, was conducted by the Centre for Public Policy Studies (CPPS) of the Asian Strategy and Leadership Institute and the National Young Lawyers’ Committee (NYLC) of the Bar Council, in July and August last year.

The findings of the “Minda Muda Research Study” were made known yesterday by CPPS director Tricia Yeoh and NYLC representative Edmond Bon at a presentation at the Bar Council headquarters in Leboh Pasar Besar.

Yeoh said the study found that young Malaysians were generally optimistic about the state of national unity in the country, predicting that it would improve slightly within the next 10 years.

“However, there were differences in responses between urban and rural areas. While rural respondents are more optimistic about unity and peace, urbanites showed more dissatisfaction.”

Yeoh added that the Malays were generally satisfied with their lives, but the Chinese and Indians were quite pessimistic about their future.

“We also found that the younger age group (18-24) are less likely to mix with others of different ethnicity, relative to those in older age groups (25-35),” Yeoh said.

Bon said the findings would be forwarded to the government so that policies at national level could be addressed appropriately.

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