Archive for category Youth

A great risk but a great challenge to Pakatan Harapan to make itself the coalition of choice of young voters when the voting age is lowered to 18 years

Penurunan umur layak mengundi kepada 18 tahun adalah satu risiko kepada Pakatan Harapan dan cabaran yang besar kepada Pakatan Harapan untuk kekal menjadi pilihan golongan muda

Penurunan had umur mengundi kepada 18 tahun telah lama diketahui umum akan memberikan kelebihan kepada pihak pembangkang dan akan memberikan kesan negatif kepada pihak kerajaan semasa. Inilah sebabnya Perlembagaan Persekutuan tidak pernah dipinda untuk pemerkasaan golongan muda seperti yang akan dilakukan ini sepanjang 6 dekad yang sebelum ini.

Tetapi kerajaan Pakatan Harapan akan membuktikan kepada negara ini, yang kami akan membuat keputusan berdasarkan kepentingan negara, walaupun ia mungkin akan bertentangan dengan kepentingan politik parti. Pakatan Harapan menerima cabaran ini untuk menjadikannya parti pilihan golongan muda dalam negara ini.

Saya berasa lega dan gembira dengan pembentangan Rang Undang-undang Pindah Perlembagaan semalam yang bertujuan untuk menurunkan had umur mengundi kepada 18 tahun, memandangkan saya pernah mencadangkan perkara yang sama 48 tahun yang lepas pada tahun 1971.

47 tahun yang lepas, pada tahun 1971 , tahun pertama saya menyertai Parlimen (Parlimen digantung selama 18 bulan selepas PRU 1969 kerana Tragedi 13 Mei dan Darurat), saya telah membentangkan tiga cadangan untuk penambahbaikan sistem pilihanraya, iaitu;

– Penurunan had umur mengundi kepada 18 tahun,
– Pendaftaran pengundi secara automatik, dan
– Mewajibkan pengundian. Read the rest of this entry »


Did PAS win the two state governments of Kelantan and Terengganu in the 14GE because of immature young voters?

The question whether PAS won the two state government of Kelantan and Terengganu in the 14th General Election because of the immature young voters in the two states is the immediate response to the startling assertion by the PAS President Datuk Seri Hadi Awang that the Barisan Nasional (BN) lost the 14th General Election on May 9 partly due to the “political immaturity” of young voters.

Hadi does not seem to agree that the corruption and misbehaviour of BN leaders were major causes of the BN defeat, which reinforces the perception on PAS’ role to aid and abet former Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak in his monstrous 1MDB corruption and money-laundering scandal until the people rejected Najib in the ballot box.

It is highly regrettable that Hadi continued to be one of the foremost practitioners of the toxic politics of lies, fear, hate, race and religion, to incite fears over the alleged 66 parliamentary seats held by non-Muslims and 58 by Muslims in the government coalition and that the Muslim MPs are being bullied and dominated by the non-Muslim MPs.

It is clear that as PAS President, Hadi regrets UMNO and Barisan Nasional lost in Putrajaya, as he is not interested in integrity and good governance issues and has no objections to Malaysia becoming a global kleptocracy as a result of former Prime Minister’s 1MDB corruption and money-laundering scandal.

It is therefore most fortunate that Hadi failed to play any “kingmaker” role in the 14th GE with the PAS failure to win 40 parliamentary seats, with the intent to prop up Najib to continue as Prime Ministe of Malaysia and keep UMNO and Barisan Nasional in Putrajaya.

From Hadi’s statement, it would appear that PAS under his leadership is opposed to the proposal to lower the voting age from 21 years to 18 years. Let PAS leaders speak up.

(Media Statement (3) by DAP MP for Iskandar Puteri Lim Kit Siang in Parliament on Thursday, 13th December 2018)


Sense of satisfaction that what I had advocated in Parliament in the 1970s – lowering the voting age to 18 – has been green-lighted by the Cabinet

I feel a sense of satisfaction that what I had advocated in Parliament in the 1970s – the lowering of the voting age to 18 – has been green-lighted by the Cabinet.

After the Cabinet meeting two days ago, the Youth and Sports Minister Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul announced that the cabinet has agreed to lower the voting age from 21 to 18

This however would require an amendment to the Federal Constitution to be approved by a two-thirds majority in the Dewan Rakyat for the decision to take effect. Read the rest of this entry »

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When will a Malaysian below 40 years become Prime Minister of Malaysia as some 70% of Malaysians belong to this age group?

In the past few days, an interesting question is whether Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman is too young to become Minister, as Syed Saddiq was appointed the Minister for Youth and Sports at the age of 25.

I think this is a non-question as over half of the Malaysian population are below 30 years of age and there is no strong reason why the Minister for Youth and Sports should not come from this age group.

This may be the first time that we have such a young Minister helming the Youth Ministry, and Yeo Bee Yin, the DAP MP for Bakri and Minister of Energy, Technology, Science, Climate Change and Environment, at 35, is the second youngest in the Pakatan Harapan Cabinet.

But Syed Saddiq is not the youngest Minister in the world, as Shamma Al Mazrui became the world’s youngest government Minister in the world when she was appointed United Arab Emirates (UAE) Minister for Youth Affairs at the age of 22 in February 2016. Read the rest of this entry »

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Let the opening of the 14th Parliament in July make history for democracy by amending the Constitution to lower the voting age to 18

In my first year in Parliament 47 years ago in 1971, (Parliament was suspended for 18 months after the 1969 General Elections because of the May 13 riots and the declaration of emergency), I made three proposals for electoral reforms, viz:

– Lowering the voting age to 18 years;
– Automatic registration of eligible voters; and
– Compulsory voting.

I therefore welcome almost half a century later the proposal by the Prime Minister, Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad that the Pakatan Harapan government lower the voting age from 21 to 18.

In fact, since my suggestion for the lowering of the voting age from 21 to 18 in 1971, the majority of the countries in the world have adopted this electoral reform but Malaysia seemed to be frozen in time as far as democratic and electoral reforms are concerned. Read the rest of this entry »

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The day when a 12-year-old primary school kid showed an ex-Prime Minister the true meaning of patriotism

At 9 a.m yesterday, I officiated the opening of the constituency centre of the new DAP MP for Segambut Hannah Yeoh at Taman Tun Dr. Ismail in Kuala Lumpur yesterday and received the DAP membership application from 24-year-old activist Heidy Quah, who received the prestigious Young Leaders Award from Queen Elizabeth II in London last year.

Heidy had been involved in advocacy work from a young age, having set up an NGO at age 18 to help refugees from Myanmar, forming the NGO Refuge for The Refugees (RFTR), which she founded with her friend Andrea Prisha.

There was a third item. Standard Six pupil Ervin Devadasan was at the centre with his father Ernest to donate the money he had been saving for months in his piggy bank to purchase a drum set to Tabung Harapan Malaysia.

I was very touched and moved – a 12-year-old primary school kid demonstrating by deed his deep love for the country!

Later that evening, I received a call from a reporter for my reaction to a very unfriendly attack on the boy’s donation, describing Tabung Harapan as a “politically-charged fund” and deploring Ervin’s donation as “ridiculous”, “exploitative”, “a gimmick” and “a pretty cheap stunt”. Read the rest of this entry »

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Malaysians must dare to “reach for the sky” to achieve big dreams to fulfill Tunku Abdul Rahman’s Malaysia Dream for Malaysia to be a “beacon of light in a difficult and distractred world”

It is a special occasion to be here to receive the DAP membership application of award-winning activist Heidy Quah, 24 who received the prestigious Young Leaders Award from Queen Elizabeth II last year.

Heidy had been involved in advocacy work from a young age, having set up an NGO at age 18 to help the refugees from Myanmar, forming the NGO Refuge for The Refugees (RFTR), which she founded with her friend Andrea Prisha.

Twenty-four was also the age when I dedicated myself to Malaysian politics to create a better Malaysia for all Malaysians, which have occupied me for 53 years culminating in the historic and watershed 14th General Election of May 9, 2018.’

Despite all the forecasts that the corrupt and decadent UMNO/BN regime would win the 14GE, Malaysian voters regardless of race, religion or region, showed that they were more intelligent and mature than the government or mainstream analysts and pollsters and created a political earthquake which sent tremors worldwide by effecting a peaceful and democratic transition of power at the federal level.

On 9th May, Malaysians fulfilled Bapa Malaysia, Tunku Abdul Rahman’s Malaysian Dream to became a “beacon of light in a difficult and distracted world”, renewing the hopes not only of Malaysians but of the world, for worldwide we are seeing a decline of democracy and the rise of authoritarian and undemocratic regimes. Read the rest of this entry »

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Syed Saddiq should be a model for young Malays and young Malaysians to be true to our Malaysian Dream for the country to be show-case to the world of an united, successful, progressive, prosperous, plural nation of diverse races, religions, languages and cultures

Is Parti Bumiputra Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) Youth chief Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman to be believed when he said that he turned down the bribe of a place in Oxford University and RM5 million in return for leaving Bersatu.

The UMNO information chief, Tan Sri Annuar Musa said Syed Saddiq is not worth RM5 million and that he has a long way to go in politics.
I believe Syed Saddiq is telling the truth.

I do not believe the “movers and shakers” in UMNO today regard Annuar is now worth RM5 million, and this is why Annuar is desperately trying to make himself useful with his nation-wide “4 All” UMNO dialogue programmes.

RM5 million is not a small sum to ordinary Malaysians, but it is just pittance to those who have found that UMNO is the “goose that lays the golden eggs”. Read the rest of this entry »


The Pakatan Harapan Youth wings should brainstorm to encourage greater youth participation and leadership in effecting the first political change in national politics with the election of a Pakatan Harapan federal government in Putrajaya in the 14GE

A recent Merdeka Centre National (Youth) Opinion Survey has found that despite being highly dissatisfied with the BN government, the youth in the country are also dispirited with the political system as a whole.

Merdeka Center asked youths how satisfied or dissatisfied they were with the performance of the BN federal government, to which two-thirds – 67 percent – answered that they were dissatisfied.

Only 24 percent said they were satisfied with the government’s performance.

High dissatisfaction rates were registered by respondents across race, urban and rural divides as well as between those registered to vote and those not registered.

The survey, which looked at perceptions of the youth towards the economy, leadership and current issues, also asked respondents about their attitudes towards politics and found that an overwhelming majority (70 percent) were not interested in politics while a similar number of them (71 percent) felt they did not have any influence on the government of the day.

Another key finding from the poll was some 40 percent of respondents were not registered as voters despite being eligible, saying they did not have time to register or they felt that voting did not make a difference.

The Pakatan Harapan youth wings from DAP, PKR, AMANAH and Pribumi Bersatu should brainstorm to encourage greater youth participation and leadership in effecting the first political change in national politics with the election of a Pakatan Harapan Federal Government in Putrajaya in the 14th General Election to replace the UMNO/BN coalition. Read the rest of this entry »

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Call on youths and students to make the ban on Asia’s best debater, Syed Saddiq 23, in public universities the cause célèbre in Malaysia to demand academic and democratic freedom for youths and students

Asia’s best debater, Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman, 23, has been banned from a third public university, Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (Unimas), after he had earlier been banned from Universiti Sains Islam Malaysia (Usim) and Universiti Tenaga National (Uniten).

The Higher Education Minister Datuk Seri Idris Jusoh had passed the buck of responsibility for the ban on Syed Saddiq by Usim and Uniten to the public universities concerned, claiming that the ban was because of the autonomy which his Ministry had devolved to the public universities.

Idris cannot wash his hands from responsibility for the ban on Syed Siddiq so easily.

Everybody knows that Idris was evading his responsibility as Higher Education Minister and was trying to pass the buck of the ban by Usim and Uniten to the public universities concerned.

But the third ban on Syed Siddiq by Unimas provides irrefutable proof that there was a directive from the Higher Education Ministry to all public universities to declare Asia’s best debater as persona non grata in the campus of all public universities. Read the rest of this entry »

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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 »