Home TA Online Time to shake up the ‘old’ politics and faces

Time to shake up the ‘old’ politics and faces

It is time for the next generation – of diverse backgrounds, gender, education, ethnicity and geographical location – to explore new ways of engagement

The #Lawan movement, organised by SSR

Join us on Telegram and Instagram for the latest.

Let me begin with the phenomenal dream of 2018. Many Malaysians voted for a new government – Pakatan Harapan – simply because they were fed up with six decades of Umno-led coalitions (the Alliance and Barisan Nasional).

Yet, as we all know, the PH-led government was short-lived. Meanwhile, the ‘backdoor’ Perikatan Nasional regime that took over clung to power for an even shorter term, despite having the world’s largest cabinet.

Bang! The ‘next PM’ relay began – and now we are back to pretty much the same ol’, same ol’.

And so, the political picture has changed little, mostly shaped by a minuscule group of actors – tellingly male and aged – who undoubtedly still dominate the power base.

Aren’t we so tired and so fed up with it all – the political dramas and power play during the Covid pandemic and high new infections and daily deaths?

Clearly, the political stagnation and frustration has catapulted a large section of people, particularly young people, to a new visibility.

For example, the black flags and #Lawan movement and protests have been triggered by people’s anger directed against the failures of Mahiaddin Yasin, the then-Prime Minister, to solve the serious problems facing the nation and the people.

Many want effective measures to manage the pandemic. They want genuine reforms to improve the political, economic and social situation, protect democracy and combat systemic corruption and cronyism.

So over a thousand of them took to the streets, and many more turned to social media to organise various creative and peaceful public assemblies.

READ MORE:  #Lawan: Ini bukan pengakhiran, terima kasih anak muda!

These peaceful assembly movements surfaced over the past months to demand the resignation of Mahiaddin and his cabinet, who resigned on 16 August.

These movements have neither central a dictatorial leader nor rigid organisational structure. They are just ordinary young Malaysians concerned about the wellbeing of society. They want to protect democracy and bring genuine change, rather than accept politicians clashing relentlessly over power and the seat of government and spouting meaningless rhetoric.

The most recent solidarity action was the candlelight vigil to commemorate and remember all those who have died from Covid – a purely humanitarian act. Yet, it is bewildering to read about the participants being harassed, manhandled and arrested by police.

To what extent will these young movements transform into a political force in future remains to be seen. The key factor is that many were discontented with the government and wanted to make themselves known, heard and seen.

This is the crucial point: many ordinary young Malaysians are able to organise themselves to make their views and needs understood politically. They can definitely make a difference and demand political participation. A Malaysiakini reader summed it up well in a letter “Whom I want in the new cabinet line-up“.

The worn-out politicians are completely out of step. Now it is time for the next generation – of diverse backgrounds, gender, educational status, ethnicities and geographical locations – to explore new ways of engagement for democracy and taking power.

Carol Yong is an independent researcher and writer

Thanks for dropping by! The views expressed in Aliran's media statements and the NGO statements we have endorsed reflect Aliran's official stand. Views and opinions expressed in other pieces published here do not necessarily reflect Aliran's official position.

Our voluntary writers work hard to keep these articles free for all to read. But we do need funds to support our struggle for Justice, Freedom and Solidarity. To maintain our editorial independence, we do not carry any advertisements; nor do we accept funding from dubious sources. If everyone reading this was to make a donation, our fundraising target for the year would be achieved within a week. So please consider making a donation to Persatuan Aliran Kesedaran Negara, CIMB Bank account number 8004240948.
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Most Read

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x