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Faculty of Social and Political Science (FISIP) International Community Service: Greet the Unreached Voters

[, Thursday, 03/02/23] The number of first-time voters in the 2024 election is quite a lot. Based on the result of the KPU data update, the number of the first-time voters is estimated at more than half a million. They are voters who will be 17 years old at the time of the election on February 14, 2024.

In Indonesia, most of these first-time voters have been greeted by the government through related agencies such as the Ministry of Home Affairs and the Kesbangpol Service, as well as by election organizers (KPU and Bawaslu) through first-time voter education programs in secondary schools at the senior high school and vocational high school level.

However, these programs cannot be enjoyed by first-time voters who have received education outside their homeland. They are the sons and daughters of Indonesian citizens who work as migrant workers and have to raise their children in neighboring countries. Among them are students of  Sekolah Indonesia Kota Kinabalu (SIKK) in Sabah, Malaysia.

So far they are rarely reached by voter education programs. In fact, as citizens, they have the right to get political education so that they can use their constitutional rights properly.Therefore, the Faculty of Social and Political Sciences, Universitas Jenderal Soedirman (FISIP Unsoed) in collaboration with the Indonesian Embassy held a service for first-time voters at SIKK Sabah Malaysia.

This activity took place on Thursday (19/1), at the SIKK Multimedia Building. In this initial program, FISIP Unsoed assigned political science lecturer, Ahmad Sabiq as a resource person for voter education program. On this occasion, Sabiq also donated a number of his books to the SIKK library.

“Apart from being determined by a democratic election process, the quality of election is also determined by voters who consciously use their right to vote. Voters will be merely as spectators when they do not have adequate knowledge about the candidates and when they are unable to use their policies and common sense to choose the right candidate,” said Sabiq in front of around 100 voter education participants who were joined by OSIS administrators and grade 12 students.

The SIKK Principal, Dadang Hermawan, M.Ed. welcomed this community service activity because it can improve students’ knowledge about elections, political parties and democracy and can be provision for their preparation when they first use their right to vote in 2024.

One of the elders of the Indonesian community in Sabah who attended the occasion, Haji Abdul Mukti Syaubari, wanted FISIP Unsoed community service program at SIKK can be held continuously. He and the Indonesian people have aspired the political education program for the children of migrant workers in Sabah since 1983. Thus, he hopes that these Indonesian sons and daughters of migrant workers will be reached more as a part of Indonesian citizen.