Qyira Yusri and Tharma Pillai
Co-founders of Undi 18
Interview Date: November 2020
Interviewer: Qaleeda Talib, Zikri Rahman and Fikri Fisal
Qyira Yusri was part of Global Alliance (MSGA). After graduating, she began advocating for the voting age to be lowered to 18 with Tharma Pillai. Together, they formed an initiative called Undi 18.
History was made when a bill to lower the voting age from 21 to 18 was passed. Qyira and Tharma then proceeded with other initiatives, such as Sekolah Rukun Negara, a youth outreach programme held in partnership with the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC), the Election Commission (EC), and other organisations. The programme has since benefited 6,000 students.
Qyira and Tharma also kicked off Seeds for Democracy, a workshop which gives participants a chance to hone their speaking and fundraising skills to advance their causes. This effort to pivot the movement online resulted in Parlimen Digital, an event co-organised by Undi 18 that had drawn much attention recently. Held on 4th and 5th July 2020, the event was live-streamed on Facebook and gathered 222 youths representatives reflecting the federal seats in Malaysia. The two-day debate session was a mock online simulation of a Parliamentary seating that saw young people discussed and passed new “laws” and “policies” on economic and education issues.