Archive for category Youth

Asia’s top debater forms new youth group, first statement is against Najib

by Ista Kyra Sharmugam
The Malaysian Insider
2 March 2016

Fed up with the government under Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, Asia’s top debater Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman and 24 other youths have put their names to a statement rejecting the current leadership.

They have also formed a group called “Challenger”, which stands for “Change Led by the Young Generation” and have just launched their Facebook page.

The 25 comprise student representatives and youth leaders from various local and international universities, with Syed Saddiq as the spokesman.

“We have lost faith in Datuk Seri Najib and his allies, as their actions have jeopardised and will sacrifice the future of Malaysia.

“Our love for Malaysia is unparalleled. It is therefore our duty to speak up against those who seek to wreck our beloved country apart.

“We, the generation that will inherit the leadership of this country, have an obligation to save the future from the present,” Syed Saddiq said in the statement posted on Challenger’s Facebook page. Read the rest of this entry »


PAS loses shine with campus students

by Zulkifli Sulong
The Malaysian Insider
14 December 2015

Groomed by PAS in university for a future in politics, four close friends who lived and studied together, and were part of the Islamist party’s campus network, have decided to abandon the party and affiliate themselves with other political parties instead.

In events that mirror developments at the national level after PAS progressives left to form Parti Amanah Negara (Amanah), the four friends, Khairul Najib Hashim, Mohammad Amar Atan, Fahmi Zainol dan Adam Fistival Wilfrid, said they found PAS to be stifling.

The Universiti Malaya (UM) student activists said the PAS network, also known as “jemaah” (congregation) on campus was controlling and restrictive. Read the rest of this entry »

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Remembering the Tun

Dyana Sofya
The Malay Mail Online
January 16, 2015 10:46 AM

JANUARY 16 — In commemoration of our country’s second prime minister Allahyarham Tun Razak’s 39th death anniversary, organised a forum featuring DAP Parliamentary Leader Lim Kit Siang, editor of The Malaysian Insider Jahabar Sadiq, MP for Lembah Pantai Nurul Izzah Anwar and the late Tun’s former political secretary, Tan Sri Abdullah Ahmad.

It was certainly an eclectic mix of speakers, and this notion wasn’t lost on Dollah Kok Lanas, as Tan Sri is better known, when he trumpeted that he was “the only Umno man in the room.”

He proved to be a memorable speaker as he recounted his close working relationship with the Tun. With trademark sarcasm, he also pointed that “ironically, Umno does not remember Tun Razak while it is DAP that remembers him.”

I tweeted that gem of a quote and immediately received backlash from supporters of the ruling party, some of whom tried to defend Umno by saying that a tahlil had been organised, and that it was more appropriate to hold prayers than to discuss Tun Razak’s ideas in a forum.

Certainly, it is commendable to have a tahlil to mark his death anniversary, but I believe that we can only do justice to the Tun’s legacy by discussing and sharing thoughts on his policies, ideas and contributions, many of which are more relevant than ever in our present time. Read the rest of this entry »

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‘I no longer care about my political position,’ says Pulai MP

by Michael Murty
The Rakyat Post
Dec 12, 2014

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 12, 2014:

“I no longer care about my political position”.

This was the reply by Pulai MP Datuk Nur Jazlan Mohamed when asked about his attendance at the “Freedom of Expression Under Threat?” forum held by the Bar Council here yesterday.

According to Sinar Online, Nur Jazlan said he wanted to use the opportunity while he still had it, to voice his opinion.

“The question about my political career is no longer on my mind. I do not care about my position within the party (Umno) as I have reached an age where I no longer am chasing positions within the party.

“But I do want to use the platform that I have to do consensual politicking, rather than bickering all the time,” he told the news portal. Read the rest of this entry »


Umno abandoning youths, not the other way round, analysts say

By Zurairi AR and Shazwan Mustafa Kamal
The Malay Mail Online
December 6, 2014

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 6 ― As more youths migrate to urban areas, Umno can no longer blame its waning support on federal opposition pact Pakatan Rakyat (PR), analysts said when weighing in on the recent call for “rejuvenation” by the ruling party’s youth wing.

Instead, the failure to capture the support has been the result of the 65-year-old party’s disconnect with the younger set of voters compared to the pull PR has over youths or urbanites, they suggested.

“Any party that wishes to garner support from urban areas, or youths who have migrated to cities, must transform themselves,” Prof Dr Jayum Jawan, a political analyst with the National Professor Council, told Malay Mail Online in a recent phone interview.

“They should know the ‘taste’ of the urbanites, the youths. They have to understand the aspirations of the youths. Not for the youths to understand the parties instead.”

Jayum suggested that while PR component parties may not be empathetic towards the demographic, they at least understand the “lingo” of the youths.

“They dance to the youths’ rhythms. They try following their ‘taste’, their way of talking. Their tone fits with the youths. Umno should be like that as well, why can’t it?” Jayum asked.

According to the Universiti Putra Malaysia lecturer, it is “unscientific” and an “indefensible argument” to assume tha youths will automatically flock to PR just because they migrate to urban areas.

Prof Dr Shamsul Adabi Mamat, a political science lecturer with Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, claimed that while majority of young urbanites might vote for PR, it is however far from a lost cause for Umno. Read the rest of this entry »

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Advice for Umno

– Aslam Abd Jalil
The Malaysian Insider
1 December 2014

The United Malays National Organisation (Umno) General Assembly 2014 kicked off last week. It was a grand event as always with a total of 2,752 delegates from around the country attending. Let’s put aside how biased the mainstream media was in covering the event, using government machinery like Radio Televisyen Malaysia (RTM) or even private media companies. Thanks to the extensive media coverage though, I had the opportunity to watch live during the speeches delivered by important figures in Umno including the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak as well as Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.

On the opening night, Muhyiddin was straightforward in pointing out the problems in Umno. According to him, there are five reasons why youth reject Umno. This includes the fact that the party was facing a trust deficit, a feudal party, practising a “yes-man” culture, being controlled by warlords and a culture of threatening by intimidation. In fact, he pointed out that youth who had great ideas were silenced from speaking out because they did not want to contradict their elders in the party. Due to that, one of the main focuses in this year’s Umno general assembly was how to engage with the youth in a way that Umno still became relevant, to paraphrase Najib’s words.

To be frank, I was initially quite happy to hear all this because the Umno leaders were bold enough to admit that these problems existed. I was interested in their focus on youth engagement. Clearly, Umno is trying hard to get more support from the youth as the voting demographics change. Yes, it is true that theoretically, Umno is not the Malaysian government and the Malaysian government is not Umno. But in reality, Umno dominates the current federal government of Malaysia. Therefore, whatever is in the agenda of Umno is most likely to be in the Malaysian government’s agenda. That is why, being a youth myself, I would like to voice my opinion regarding the youth engagement by Umno. Read the rest of this entry »


In Umno’s youth ‘rejuvenation’, mutton dressed as lamb?

by Joseph Sipalan
Malay Mail Online
November 28, 2014

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 28 — At 65, Umno is old, older even than Malaysia, and worryingly for the party now, its current leaders are not much younger.

As the anchor of Barisan Nasional (BN), it is the oldest and longest ruling party in the world, having governed the country since 1957. The country has need of transformation and Umno, according to its leaders, is also in dire need of reform and “rejuvenation”.

Umno knows it must ring in the new, but to ring out the old is where it is finding strong resistance. Leading up to the ongoing Umno General Assembly, party leaders have sent clearer and clearer hints, all but opening the exit door and ushering out those whom they think should leave.

The transformation is not solely about internal renewal. Umno’s top leaders have conveyed that the stakes are the party’s continued survival and, by extension, the continuity of the only ruling government that Malaysia has ever known.

In the next general election no more than four years away, there will be an estimated four million youths who will qualify as new voters, adding to the 17.8 million who may cast ballots if they all register as voters.

Magnifying the sense of urgency is the belief that Umno is progressively losing support from the rural Malays ― traditionally its core power base ― due to increasing migration to urban areas. Read the rest of this entry »

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Facebook loses sparkle as Malaysian youth embrace messenger apps

by Boo Su-Lyn
The Malaysian Insider
November 26, 2013

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 26 — Fara Halina Rosli updates her Facebook status only once every three days, but the 24-year-old chambering student uses other messaging apps daily to text, and share photographs/cute digital stickers.

Social media analysts say that chat apps like WhatsApp, WeChat, LINE and KakaoTalk are cutting into the social networking giant’s youth customer base in Malaysia, where the entire Facebook population numbers about 13 million.

“Chat apps offer a higher level of privacy versus Facebook or Twitter,” Jagdish Singh Malhi, social media director at global media company Universal McCann, told The Malay Mail Online in a recent email interview.

“Although you can set your privacy level, once you’re friends with a parent, relative or minder, then your personal space is somewhat constricted… In fact, the fastest growing age group on Facebook are the boomers and one of my clients even had her grandma win an iPhone in a Facebook campaign!,” he added.

Facebook admitted last month that its usage among teenagers was dropping, with American business magazine Forbes quoting its chief financial officer David Ebersman saying that the site is witnessing a “decrease in daily users, specifically among younger teens.” Read the rest of this entry »

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Umno Youth’s delusions

— Ahmad Ashraf
The Malaysian Insider
Dec 01, 2012

DEC 1 — When it comes to talk, very few can match Umno Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin. After all, he used to host a talk show. And today, he displayed his prowess when saying Umno is winning the battle for the hearts and minds of Malaysian youth.

However, the country’s “richest unemployed young man,” as dubbed by Lim Kit Siang, is just talking up his achievements.

Is Umno popular among the young? Khairy says results of the recent campus elections reflects youth acceptance of Umno, where 18 out of 20 elections were won by the pro-government Pro-Aspirasi groups.

Well, the government-backed undergraduates won in elections where rules were stacked against those linked to opposition. In Universiti Malaya and the International Islamic University, where attempts to influence results failed, the pro-opposition candidates swept to power.

Care to explain that, Khairy? Read the rest of this entry »


Najib should fully accept the apologies of two teenagers bearing in mind “To Err is Human, To Forgive Divine”

I call on the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak to fully accept the apologies tendered by the two 19-year-old teenagers Mohammad Ammar A Rahman and Ong Sing Yee as well as by their parents bearing in mind that “To err is human, To forgive divine” and to ask the Attorney-General to take their apologies into account.

Right from the beginning, I have made my position clear – I do not approve or condone Mohammad Ammar and Ong Sing Yee’s actions. What they have done is wrong and deplorable. Malaysians have a right to expect more civilised conduct in public life.

However Malaysians are rightly concerned at the Barisan Nasional government’s heavy-handedness and double standards in handling the matter.

For instance, why was it necessary to handcuff Ong as if she is a dangerous character when she had surrendered herself to the police, which itself is a clear acknowledgement on her part that what she had done was wrong and her preparedness to face the consequences. But is it right and proper for the police to treat her as if she is a hardened and dangerous criminal requiring her to be handcuffed, when Malaysians can see for themselves BN VIPs, including Ministers and former Ministers, treated with kid’s gloves although charged with grave crimes against the state and people? Read the rest of this entry »


The government doth protest too much

— Azmil Tayeb
The Malaysian Insider
Jan 05, 2012

JAN 5 — In my previous incarnation as a student in the United States, I occasionally attended gatherings at the Malaysian Embassy and consulate offices, some of which were hosted to receive various ministers and other high-ranking government officials.

In addition to being stuffed with delicious home-made Malaysian food — the main reason why I think most of us were there — we were also fed with the exhortations that we were not supposed to get involved in politics, not to pay any attention to the political issues currently brewing in Malaysia, and instead to solely focus on our studies.

Don’t sweat your innocent, highly impressionable minds with all these slanders and negativities you hear from home, said the avuncular minister. The time will come soon enough for you to get involve and subsequently enjoy the experience of being bashed senseless in the head by the FRU.

Okay, the minister didn’t say that last part. But the point I’m trying make here is that there’s no better moment to assume a proactive role in the society than during this unique window of time and place occupied by these so-called innocent, highly impressionable minds.

The recent “controversy” concerning the lowering of the PM’s banner at PWTC by the students and the alleged assault on student activists at UPSI on new year’s day by the police brings to light the familiar issue of whether Malaysian students should be allowed to get involved in politics, particularly via protests and other acts of civil disobedience. Read the rest of this entry »