One of Malaysia’s youngest politicians and the leader of yet another newly formed political party revealed yesterday that he had no say during his time as a member of the Malaysian United Indigenous Party (Bersatu).
Former youth and sports minister Syed Saddiq Abdul Rahman, 27, told Sinar Harian this in his first interview since announcing his youth-based political party called Muda Malaysia (Young Malaysia). The former Bersatu member left the previous party together with Mahathir Mohamad in May, but decided not to join Mahathir’s new party Pejuang.
Syed told the press that as the only youth member in Bersatu, under the previous Pakatan Harapan (Alliance of Hope) administration, his voice often fell on deaf ears.
“When we were discussing a job stimulus package worth RM6.5 billion to create 350,000 jobs for the youth. The stimulus was disapproved even though I fought for it, because there were elders who believed that the money was better spent elsewhere,” he said.
“Why is it so difficult to approve budgets for young people’s needs? If there were more youth representation, the needs of youth including the wage gap, education, joblessness, will no longer be drowned by the voices of elders,” he added.
Just last week, Syed was called a “small boy” in Parliament while questioning inconsistent punishments for COVID-19 quarantine violators.
Syed announced last Tuesday the formation of his party, which he promised would comprise mostly millennials from diverse backgrounds, including those from the tech industry. He said yesterday that the party will be “disruptive” and not bow to the demands of major political donors.
“Leadership positions will be held by technocrats, professionals, academicians, who would not normally be given the opportunity to guide traditional political parties,” Syed told the news outlet, citing Sabah farmer Shahrizal Denci as one of his party members.
“We want to build a disruptive political party, one that doesn’t cater to the wants of the big-scale donors,” Syed added. He said that the party will be largely funded by donations from citizens and crowdfunding initiatives.
Other members include educator and founder of the Pemimpin GSL organization, Cheryl Ann Fernando, as well as lawyer Lim Wei Jiet, who moderated a mock parliament session held virtually by youths earlier this year, Qyira Yusri from youth initiative Undi18, former Permodalan Nasional Berhad CEO Abdul Jalil Rasheed, religious leader Rahmat Ikhsan.
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This article, Syed Saddiq to lead ‘disruptive’ party of millennials after having no say in Bersatu, originally appeared on Coconuts, Asia's leading alternative media company. Want more Coconuts? Sign up for our newsletters!