Tough times for an unpopular Malaysian prime minister, Najib Razak, and for ordinary citizens. The country is deeply engulfed in scandals, primarily regarding Najib’s pet project, a state-investment fund, 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).
Disappointed with the state of politics and the decline of accountability, a group of young Malaysians are making waves in social media. Concerned individuals and representatives from local NGOs are calling for the mobilization of Malaysians for a campaign in Kuala Lumpur; a movement seeking reform and social justice.
“Until today, the prime minister of Malaysia has failed to answer how 1Malaysia Development Berhad can pay up their billions of ringgit in debts. Realising the need to push, to save the country and free the people from continued economic, political and social uncertainty, the youths are grouping together to demand that Najib resign as prime minister immediately. Demi Malaysia is calling on all youngsters and the people of Malaysia to attend a peaceful gathering that will be held on August 1 in front of Sogo shopping complex at 2pm,” said Adam Adli Abd Halim, a youth activist, at a press conference held in Kuala Lumpur.
Others agree with Adam’s concerns as I discovered from my conversations with young Malaysians, in particular with Aiman Hakim, a 22-year-old activist from a youth-based group called Kelab Bangsar Utama.
Aiman (@AimanHkim) who is empowered and passionate about social issues, briefly shares his thoughts and hopes.
What is your involvement in Demi Malaysia’s #TangkapNajib rally?
Aiman: “My part in the campaign is just as a concerned youth who is aware of the political problems in Malaysia. The difference with us in Demi Malaysia, we don’t move with political parties. Instead we move with and for civil society. Everyone in Demi Malaysia is using their own skills and talents to contribute. We have young people making posters and spreading awareness through social media. As for Demi Malaysia, it is actually a campaign, and not an entity.”
What is your aspiration for Malaysia, and what do you hope to achieve from the rally?
Aiman: “Every rally has high hopes. In reality under the present situation it is difficult to hope for the immediate resignation of the present political administration. So to be realistic, we aim to pressure the Najib’s government to be conscience and resign. The Barisan Nasional coalition has been ruling our country for almost 60 years, a world record I’m sure.
Our movement is confident of getting support from young people around country, to run the #TangkapNajib campaign. However like I said, we consider this as a process towards greater change. We are merely fulfilling our responsibility as a socially-conscience community.”