Is Pakatan Harapan little too late to rally the power of youth?

SET against the backdrop of the Rakan Muda programme facelift over the weekend and PAS’ widely acclaimed success of leveraging social media platform TikTok to fertilise its green wave movement has opened the eyes of retired DAP supremo Lim Kit Siang on the value of Malaysian youths in the run-up to the looming state polls.

Without specifying their political affiliation, the veteran lawmaker has called on Malaysian youths of all races, religions and regions to unite in facing the six state polls by convincing their parents and older relatives to make Malaysia a nation of world champions again.

“Prime Minister (PM) Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim deserves support in his mission to make Malaysia a great nation in the region,” he penned in a media statement.

“His call at the launch of Rakan Muda’s new phase at Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) in Bangi, Selangor for a new generation that applies human values by respecting one another, embraces and advocates kindness, brotherhood, technology and hates corruption, hypocrisy and racism should be echoed by all political leaders.”

Although the Perikatan Nasional (PN) – and especially PAS’ election machinery – has long mobilised and empowered the strength of youths to expand its political influence  Pakatan Harapan (PH) has failed to fully utilise UNDI18 which was part of its election manifesto for the 14th General Election (GE14) in 2018.

True to the adage better be late than sorry, perhaps the timing is right to acknowledge the role of youths – regardless of their race, religion or region – to be the vanguard of progressive politics and to be the torch-bearers of unity and multi-culturalism.

Lim Kit Siang

“Anwar is a septuagenarian and I am an octogenarian. But we were young once, when we had dreamed the Malaysian Dream for Malaysia to be among the world champions in various fields of human endeavour and it is for the youths of today to fulfil the Malaysian Dream,” envisaged Kit Siang.

“Malaysia is ranked No. 45th among countries in the world in population size but we were at one time tanked No. 20 among countries in terms of deaths during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2021, reflecting a poor health system. This is not the world champion that Malaysia wants.”

Stressing that “Malaysia must punch above her weight”, the former Iskandar Puteri MP reminded youths in the country that “Malaysia wants the positive achievements like winning the Thomas Cup, the Olympic events, the Oscar Award, having the world’s best universities, the best scientists, IT experts and even win the Nobel Awards”.

“I call on Malaysian youths of all races, religions and regions to unite in the six state polls in August in Penang, Selangor, Negri Sembilan, Kedah, Kelantan and Terengganu, and to convince their parents and their older relatives to make Malaysia a nation of world champions again,” rallied the country’s longest serving Opposition leader during his heydays (29 years altogether on three separate occasions).

“(This shall) avoid the trajectory towards a divided, failed and corrupt state in the coming decades, particularly in 2057 when Malaysia celebrates its Centennial.” – June 26, 2023

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