Two Challenges to Youths in Malaysia – spearhead a national campaign to clean up the Malaysia social media by combating fake news and hate speech to incite inter-racial and inter-religious suspicion, fear and hatred and to prove to the world that Malaysia is a successful example of Alliance of Civilisations and not an example of failure from Clash of Civilisations
Two things struck me last night when I attended the first series of the Parliamentary Debaton 2019 Youth in Parliament by 46 youths in the 16 – 25 year-old age group – firstly, empowering Malaysians youths and inspiring them to transform Malaysia into a top world-class nation of unity, freedom, justice, excellence and integrity; and secondly, harnessing the energies of youth for the country’s reform and the reset of nation building policies to build a New Malaysia.
I was impressed with the seriousness, intensity and passion of the young debators last night on a subject, 'Precariat Workers in the Gig Economy', which few Malaysians are familiar with - reinforcing the hope and belief that Malaysians must depend on the youths of today to take the country to greater national heights in the coming years and decades.
Young Malaysians must dare to dream big and have great vision for the country. When the DAP MPs were first elected to Parliament in 1969, we had three DAP MPs who were in their twenties – Fan Yew Teng (Kampar), Lim Cho Hock (Batu Gajah) and myself (Bandar Malacca).
The Pakatan Harapan Government has taken the rights steps to re-set nation building efforts, including the Constitutional amendment to lower the voting age from 21 to 18 year-olds; the appointment of the youngest Youth Minister in the history of 18 Youth Ministers in the history of the country, Syed Saddiq bin Syed Abdul Rahman who was 25 when he appointed to the Cabinet (despite his various faux pas); the Parliamentary Debaton 2019 Youth and the historic event last Friday where after more than 40 years, the University of Malaya Students’ Union (UMSU) revived its tradition of holding a convoy during the university’s orientation week.
I am therefore emboldened to issue two challenges to the Malaysian youths – those in the 16-25 age group: firstly, spearhead a national campaign to clean up the Malaysia social media by combating fake news and hate speech to incite inter-racial and inter-religious suspicion, fear and hatred and secondly, to prove to the world that Malaysia is a successful example of Alliance of Civilisations and not an example of failure from Clash of Civilisations.
If fake news and hate speech calculated to incite inter-racial and inter-religious misunderstanding and undermine inter-racial and inter-religious tolerance and harmony are not checked, the only outcome is a racial and religious conflagration in multi-racial, multi-lingual, multi-religious and multi-cultural conflagration with all Malaysian as the losers.
This is not the future that Malaysians want, as we want a win-win formula through an Alliance of Civilisations as Malaysia is a confluence of four great civilisations of the world – Malay/Islamic, Chinese, Indian and Western – and Malaysians should leverage on the best values and virtues of these four civilisations instead of being a failed, rogue and kleptocratic state because of a Clash of Civilisations in Malaysia.