#kerajaangagal42 – Will the Muhyiddin government heed the six demands of the youths of Malaysia to end the emergency and to convene Parliament?

The youths of Malaysia have made the Hari Raya Aidilfitri this year special and unique in the way they used their online greetings to articulate their views and demands.

Dressed in festive outfits, they posed with placards emblazoned with slogans like “Buka Parlimen” (open Parliament), “Tamat Darurat” (end emergency) and “Kerajaan Gagal” (failed government).

Others wished each other Selamat Hari Raya while calling on Putrajaya to immediately lower the voting age to 18.

This year marks the second continuous year that Hari Raya Aidilfitri has been celebrated during the Covid-19 pandemic, and several participants highlighted their inability to return home to celebrate the festival with their family as proof of the government’s failure to handle the Covid-19 pandemic.

Will the Muhyiddin government and his bloated Cabinet heed the six demands of the youths of Malaysia outlined by Sekretariat Solidariti Rakyat, a loose coalition made up of youth groups like Undi18 and members of the Malaysian United Democratic Alliance (Muda):

· to lift the emergency;

· to reopen Parliament;

· to immediately implement Undi18;

· to ensure the rakyat’s economic independence;

· to make education safe for all rakyat;

· to ensure no double standards before the law; and

· to empower the rights of Sabah and Sarawak.

It is most regrettable that the Muhyiddin government has failed in all these six items.

On the “make education safe for all rakyat” plank, it is most regrettable that the Education Minister, Radzi Jidin, has failed to exercise leadership in ensuring a new school culture which disapproves of period spot checks and disallow lewd jokes by teachers in class.

I find it most shocking that there are plans afoot to expel Ain Husniza Saiful Nizam from her school, SMK Puncak Alam. If this is allowed, it would be to the infamy and ignominy of the Education Minister, Radzi Jidin and the Prime Minister, Muhyiddin Yassin.

Haven’t the duo heard of Greta Thunberg?

For Muhyddin and Radzi’s information, Thunberg is a 18-year-old Swedish environmental activist who is internationally known for challenging world leaders to take immediate action for climate change mitigation.

Thunberg’s activism started after persuading her parents to adopt several lifestyle choices to reduce their own carbon footprint. In August 2018, at age 15, she started spending her school days outside the Swedish Parliament to call for stronger action on climate change by holding up a sign reading Skolstrejk för klimatet (School strike for climate).

Soon other students engaged in similar protests in their own communities. Together they organised a school climate strike movement under the name Fridays for Future.

After Thunberg addressed the 2018 United Nations Climate Change Conference, student strikes took place every week somewhere in the world. In 2019, there were multiple coordinated multi-city protests involving over a million students each.

She received numerous honours and awards, including an honorary Fellowship of the Royal Scottish Geographical Society, inclusion in Time’s 100 most influential people, being the youngest Time Person of the Year, inclusion in the Forbes list of The World’s 100 Most Powerful Women (2019), and three consecutive nominations for the Nobel Peace Prize (2019–2021).

Would Greta Thunberg survive under the Malaysian education system?

This is food for thought by all Malaysians and I will leave to Radzi Jidin to answer this question.

President Joe Biden of the United States has just appointed 18-year-old climate change activist Jerome Foster II, to be a member of his White House Environmental Justice Advisory Council, a move which the media has hailed as ”From protestor to climate policy maker”.

It is time that we give Malaysian youths of today not only more voice, but more influence and power in public policy formulation and implementation – and the last thing that should happen is the expulsion of Ain Husniza for speaking up against lewd jokes by teachers in class!

Five days have passed since Muhyiddin announced MCO. 3.0 without any economic stimulus package to cushion the grave economic blow to the poor and vulnerable groups.

The Federation of Malaysian Business Associations (FMBA) has called for financial relief programmes and stressed that the government must be accountable for unprecedented containment measures under the MCO 3.0.

The FMBA said that the government must stand up and be ready to be counted, adding that the government should use granular data within government agencies to implement data-driven decisions and not on an ad hoc basis.

On providing safety nets for businesses, the group said the government could offer soft loans and extend the wage subsidy programme to all economic sectors except those in essential services until the end of the year.

The group also said a freeze on recurring costs until next year would help non-essential businesses stay afloat, such as EPF, Socso and EIS contributions for employees, as well as utility expenditure discounts on electricity, telecommunications and broadband.

I call on Muhyiddin to be specific, whether there will be any MCO 3.0 multi-billion ringgit economic stimulus package or not, for the Finance Minister Tengku Zafrul Tengku Aziz cannot be taking such a long time to come with an economic stimulus package.

(Media Statement (2) by DAP MP for Iskandar Puteri Lim Kit Siang in Kuala Lumpur on Friday, May 14, 2021)

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