Will there be a ‘youthquake’ in GE14?

YOURSAY | ‘The world is being shaped by young people, not seasoned or vintage politicians.’

The youth vote – what Harapan should do

David Dass: The truth is young people do not think there is any real prospect for change for the better.

Chinese youth look to the private sector and to foreign lands for their future. Indian youth are not even on any path that leads to a better life. Malay youth enjoy preferential treatment that take them to school and then to college and then to a secure job in the civil service or in government-linked companies.

Everyone assumes that race determines everything. Minorities like Indians are virtually excluded. Why should anyone register to vote? Why should anyone vote? Will voting make a difference? Why vote for the opposition? What do they offer that is different from the ruling party?

Is there any real hope for the future? Why are so many leaving? It is getting more difficult emigrating to Australia and Singapore. Should we go soon?

Where is the idealism of the young? How does anyone get them to engage? These are not easy challenges.

Vgeorgemy: Malaysiakini columnist Commander (Rtd) S Thayaparan, we fully agree with you that our youth is only happy with leaders such as UK Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn and former US Democratic primary presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, who are capable of capturing the imagination of youths to produce a “youthquake” in their respective countries.

For this, Pakatan Harapan must adopt real reformation based on our constitutional values of personal rights and obligation.

We are not sure our society can withstand a “youthquake” and its consequences due to overpowering state-sponsored religious authorities which appear to have extra-constitutional powers. We have seen such non-acceptance from the authorities on a recent Federal Court judgment.

There is nothing wrong in dreaming of having a just society based on constitutional ideals.

JD Lovrenciear: I cannot disagree with you, Thayaparan. The world is being shaped by young people, not seasoned or vintage politicians.

The current pope of the Catholic Church is a clear and sure example of how harnessing youth power shapes the future journey. The fact is, our political “masters” have not re-integrated with the decisive force of nationhood.

Headhunter: You are right on the opposition emulating the kind of politics that BN practices.

Frankly, I’m getting disillusioned with them. They can’t seem to think outside the box. They are all waiting for something to happen, not sure what. Perhaps they have too many generals who are not in sync with one another.

Quigonbond: I’d like to comment on two points: (1) “Under Harapan, if Islamic departments ask for more money, you think they won’t give?”

Damn right, they won’t give. But it’s not like they don’t give out of spite. They won’t give because there will be bigger priorities elsewhere and we don’t need a big Islamic department because we no longer need to divide people with religion, which is what the Islamic departments have been doing – increasingly radicalising Islam in Malaysia.

(2) The commander is coming from a place of “Harapan should do more”. My reaction to that, being a long-time political observer, is that the opposition is under great strain.

Just look at Pandan MP Rafizi Ramli being convicted under the Banking and Financial Institutions Act (Bafia) for a corruption expose. Consider the upcoming fake news legislation, that’ll probably make talking about 1MDB illegal…

No, Harapan is far from being the establishment. What this means is young Malaysians need to know that the internet does not create a level-playing field. There is still so much one sidedness in this political contest.

So, stop complaining that you haven’t heard from Harapan delivering to you on a silver platter what their policies are, what they aspire to do. They don’t have the resources to do so.

It is critical that if you are a patriotic Malaysian, you do your part and sift through the noise. It’s really at your fingertips if only you bother reading before commenting or deciding.

Stop this herd mentality of “both sides are the same so why bother” because there is really so much difference. You don’t even need to go to political party websites.

Just read Malaysiakini, Malaysian Insight, Malay Mail, Yahoo News, BBC, etc, and you would already get an idea of the vast disparity of what is told over mainstream media and what is shared online – both good and bad.

You may think you are not looking for perfection from Harapan, but actually you already are by assuming there is level-playing field.

Have some sympathy for Harapan. It’s a collection of people who have given up being comfortable at the sidelines to get into the thick of action, facing constant persecution from BN and making many personal sacrifices.

You think they do it for fun? Would you do it? There are idiots in there too (just that there’s more in BN), but collectively, their hearts are in the right places to make Malaysia better.

So, unless you plan to get involved politically, the least you can do is to read up and find out more about this probably only alternative you are going to have instead of continuing with the devil you know.

Even that, will it be the devil you know after GE14 when they have no scruples getting into bed with people who want to turn Malaysia into an Islamic theocracy?

Anonymous #07988903: There are two ways to effect change: we can let the system run itself down so badly until the day a young man sets himself on fire in front of the City Hall out of poverty and desperation (such as in the Arab Spring), or we can stop whining about the lack of options and take our pick for whatever is available and give it a try. Giving up and do nothing without trying is a defeatist attitude.

In truth, it takes real courage to be opposition politicians in this country. Our opposition politicians not only have to go into the ring with their hands tied behind their backs, their legs chained, their eyes blindfolded, but also with every available force and form of persecution thrown upon them.

We want an ideal democracy like that of the West where differences in opinions can be decided through debates in public discourse, but here, we do not have that luxury.

If we want to build a new house, we must first pull down the old.

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