I read with great interest an article on #ForwardTogether by the Organisation for National Empowerment (ONE). I wholeheartedly agree with their call for the electorate to “vote for a party which you believe can take us ahead.” At a time of uncertainty, there is a need to understand the civic deficit involving young people, its consequences, and what we can do to address it.
Civic crisis among young people in Malaysia
The controversy surrounding the #UndiRosak movement is a reflection of the civic health in Malaysia. Young Malaysians are increasingly frustrated about the excessive political bickering among politicians from both sides of the divide while others have been turned off by politics. A recent Merdeka Centre poll commissioned by Watan (youth voter registration NGO) found 71% of young voters felt they have no influence on government. It is no surprise, then, that 65% of all unregistered voters are between 21 and 30 years old — a whopping 2.5 million. While I respect the proponents of #UndiRosak and their legitimate grievances, I disagree with their approach. Spoiling one’s vote, even to send a message to the politicians, is ineffective.
Lack of youth participation and vicious cycle of neglect
The reality is politicians respond to voters. When young people are disillusioned, they stay out of the political process. As a result, they don’t vote in elections in large numbers (or if they do, they spoil their votes). In turn, political parties make little effort to engage young people as there is little incentive to gain their votes. This creates a vicious cycle of neglect of young people. The consequences can be detrimental for the youth. In the United States, only half of the young eligible electorate participated in the last presidential election, culminating in the rise of President Donald Trump. In the Brexit referendum, close to half of young British voters chose to stay at home. In extreme cases, political parties have discounted young people altogether. In the Netherlands, the 50PLUS party caters solely to pensioners and doubled their votes and representatives recently due to the lack of youth participation. Young voters cannot afford to risk our country’s future as we will be living in it, not our older counterparts.
The young can make a difference through the ballot box
We should not underestimate our power as young voters because we have the numbers. In the last general election, it was estimated that first-time voters (including yours truly) made up one-fifth of the 13.3 million eligible voters. The young are a powerful voting bloc, and we can influence the outcome of the election. Our collective power can pressure politicians from both sides to address youth issues such as affordable housing, cost of living, and career opportunities. It is easy for us to feel detached and confused from the national political discourse, dominated by old personalities. Therefore, during the election, it is crucial that we focus on our local community. Personally, I make a decision between the competing candidates based on their personality and track record, not their political parties. It is crucial we carefully select our state assemblyperson (ADUN) and member of parliament (MP) for they will be responsible for our community. Whoever it is, when you are at the ballot box, make a decision — don’t waste it.
Despite the pessimism towards politics, we must remember our actions will have repercussions on our generation and future generations. Our country may not be a perfect democracy but it works. We have the room and space to make a difference as citizens. At times of uncertainty, we can appreciate responsible and balanced calls such as from ONE on #ForwardTogether for voters to make objective and well-informed decisions. In the words of American feminist Gloria Steinem, “Voting isn’t the most we can do. But it is the least.”
You can find this article on Free Malaysia Today at http://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/opinion/2018/02/24/moving-malaysia-forwardtogether/
New year, new idea!
Your favourite school, Nation Building School is back with an initiative to help unemployed youth!
Over 55,000 young graduates in Malaysia are unemployed due to many reasons -- skills mismatch, poor command of English, lack of working experience.
We plan to do something about this stubbornly high youth unemployment!
NBS is launching #CareerClinic to help 200 unemployed university graduates through 6 series of workshops in 6 locations in Klang Valley this year!
We can't do this alone. We need your help!
Here's how you can help our project in our 1st phase:
1. Sign up at Actyvate Malaysia (crowd-pledging platform) at http://actyvate.my
2. Go to our project page and LIKE it at http://actyvate.my/project/career-clinic
Let's do something for our fellow young Malaysians! Thank you in advance!
We came, we saw, we became All-Star on LinkedIn!
Thus far, 10 of the 50 attendants have attained All-Star rating on LinkedIn starting from scratch at Beginner. The majority are Intermediate and will soon be All-Star.
With All-Star rating, you’re 40x more likely to receive opportunities on LinkedIn. I was surprised not many are familiar with LinkedIn which is pretty much Facebook for professionals.
We had this workshop on Monday 27 Nov in Department of Geology, University of Malaya.
Thank you my Guru Yaya Norazman, American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG) University of Malaya Student Chapter and Science Society University of Malaya.
Here's my deck on for your enjoyment:
I had the honour of speaking at the 15th IAVE Asia Pacific Regional Volunteer Conference (IAVEAP) 2017 by Yayasan Salam and the International Association for Volunteer Effort (IAVE). IAVEAP was held from 22nd to 26th November 2017 at Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre. It was divided into two events: Asia Pacific Regional Volunteer Conference and Asia Pacific Youth Volunteer Conference. I was invited to speak at the latter.
Yayasan Salam wanted me to speak at the panel on Technology and Social Innovation. I decided to talk about gamification in volunteerism.
You can find my presentation slides as follows:
Last Saturday, 18th November 2017, the Deputy Prime Minister YAB Dato' Seri Dr. Ahmad Zahid bin Hamidi officiated the Actyvate at iM4U Sentral in Puchong, Malaysia. I'm extremely grateful to be selected as one of the 12 Actyvators for Actyvate - a game-changer for young Malaysians!
#ActyvateMY gives you the chance to turn your ideas into projects. It is a crowdpledging platform for any youth to start a project or support one.
With this platform, it gives you a step-by-step guide on HOW to start a project. Something I wish I had when I started this journey 7 years ago.
Actyvate helps you with:
1. Framing your idea for the community (ideation)
2. Getting your idea supported by the community (validation)
3. Raising funds from the community (crowdfunding)
4. Start your community project (action)
5. Tell your supporters on your project's progress
Actyvate is all about the community.
What's even better is the institutional backing by key youth organisations such as 1Malaysia For Youth (iM4U), Malaysian Global Innovation & Creativity Centre (MaGIC), Ministry of Youth and Sports (KBS), Ministry of Higher Education (MoHE), Malaysian Youth Council (MBM), National Service Training Department (JLKN) and Ministry of Finance (MoF).
It doesn't get any realer than this. This is a game-changer.
I've started a project to help upskill unemployed youth with Nation Building School.
What's your idea? Or if you don't have one yet, check the projects on activate.my and support them!
Sign up on Actyvate.my and actyvate your dreams!!!
I'd like to take this opportunity to thank MaGIC CEO Ashran Dato' Ghazi and iM4U CEO Rudy Malik for placing your faith in me. I am truly humbled and honoured. I would like to thank all the 11 Actyvators for welcoming us into your fold. Our work has only began, and I'm already excited to actyvate as many young Malaysians as possible!
Me being an Actyvator wouldn't have been possible without the Nation Building School team, especially Marques Jeevan, Pixie Fee, Nafis Nazri, Marcus Lim, Dzulhilmy Mohammad. Let's change the world!
I'm happy to announce I'll be part of Actyvate Malaysia - a national platform to support youth initiatives through collective power.
Prime Minister Najib Razak will be launching Actyvate this Saturday 18 Nov 5ppm-11pm at iM4U Sentral. Do come if you're free!
I genuinely believe this is going to be a game-changer for us young people to support community projects and in turn, be supported for ours. It'll be a platform for us to share ideas and collaborate with youths all across the country. With a number of youth organisations involved, we can turn this into a youth movement.
Nation Building School is excited to contribute to this platform!
Ripples of small changes makes a might blue ocean!
Kudos to Rudy Malik (CEO, 1Malaysia For Youth) & Ashran Ghazi (CEO, Malaysian Global Innovation and Creativity Centre) for wholeheartedly turning this into a reality. Many thanks to National Blue Ocean Strategy (NBOS), Ministry of Finance (MoF), Ministry of Youth and Sports, Ministry of Higher Education (MOHE), National Service Training Department (JLKN) and Malaysian Youth Council (MBM) for joining forces to drive #ActyvateMY.
To know more about Actyvate, please visit http://actyvate.my/.
10th International Kuala Lumpur Eco Film Festival (KLEFF)
I was invited by the organiser of the International Kuala Lumpur Eco Film Festival (KLEFF) to moderate one of their 3 main forums during the 10th KLEFF last week! I've been following KLEFF for many years now. It's a pleasant surprise to be involved in it!
The youth forum was a unique one for me. It consisted of 6 speakers of diverse backgrounds and lasted for 4 hours!
The forum's theme was “Youth for Leadership in Sustainable Development Goals Forum.”
The speakers were
IUMW Career Fair 2017
When fellow Principal Hilmy called me one day to invite me to conduct a workshop at his university's career fair, I immediately agreed to it. Not because he was a comrade but because I feel I can add value to the students. I've been researching and conducting workshops on building a powerful network for one's personal and professional lives. I've learned from the world's best, namely Ramit Sethi and from my own experience engaging over 100 organisations through Nation Building School. This is my 10th #NetworkingMalaysia workshop -- and I had a blast!
Thank you, IUMW students!
The workshop consisted of the following:
UULS Humanitarian Conference: Community Leadership Forum
I asked the following questions to the panel:I was invited by UCSI University's scholars to moderate a panel on creating social impact at MaGIC, Cyberjaya on 1st October 2017 for their annual leadership lecture series.
Theme: “Creating Impact, Leading Change”
I asked the following questions to the panel: