As we all know, democracy inspite of its enormous contribution to our social development, the process responsible for the emergence and successful adaptation of democratic institutions in society is not yet well understood. For every success, there are instances in which the introduction of democratic institutions has failed or quickly reverted to authoritarian forms of government. Democratic values and institutions did not arise as a direct contradiction of authoritarian forms of governance. Rather they emerged by a gradual change in the principles that governed the distribution of power in society.
Malaysia refers herself as 'democratic' but it is evident that the term does apply to our government. Democratic governments are those in which fundamental human rights of individual citizens are protected by the collective and in which the views of the population-at-large, not just a ruling elite, are reflected in the actions of government.
This workshop supposedly argues for a more comprehensive approach that views all the contributing factors as expressions of a more fundamental process of change in the society. It is this process that we must understand, if society is to acquire the capability to promote the successful adoption of democratic institutions in different social and cultural contexts.
Aims and Objective of Workshop are as follows :
1. The presentation of two working paper by UPP and DEMA
"Student Involvement in Democracy in Malaysia"
by Mr. Yong Chin Tatt (DEMA)
"Generation M and Its Role In Democratic Malaysia" by Mr. Rizal Mohd Zin
2. Group discussion of possible solutions to tackle youth involvement in democratic Malaysia.
This workshop attracted approximately about 50 participants, 25 from DEMA and the other 25 by UPP IKD. Participants are off young professionals and students of various universities and colleges.
Introductory on youth was given by Mr. Johannes
Rey and brief opening on democracy by Mr. Khalid Jaafar.
Two working papers on Youth and Democracy was presented. The first paper presented by Mr. Yong Chin Tatt of DEMA was subjected on Campus Democracy "The Universities and Universities Colleges Act 1971 (UUCA). The second paper presented by Mr. Mohd. Rizal Zin titled Generation M and it's role in Democratic Malaysia focuses on young professionals.
Panel discussion in regards to the two working papers were open to the floor for Q&A : Penal speakers Mr. Yusri Muhammad, Mr. Hamizon Hairuddin, Mr. Rizal Mohd. Zin and Mr. Yong Chin Tatt.
Participants were divided into 7 groups, each group were responsible to a topic for discussions and find possible solutions.
Presentation of all groups.
Resolutions of Group Discussion
These are the four different topics:
Apathy, Passiveness, Tolerance, Forgiveness.
1. Apathy, Passiveness, Tolerance, Forgiveness.
Whatever the future holds, this country is to be inherits by today's youth. They are the leaders to be and the hopes of this country. They should be nurtured and thought of management skills on how to run the country, as their expertise are crucial for our development. The struggle to reform has open many eyes, revealing the corruption and also the injustice that we Malaysian face. Unfortunately many are not bothered of the current situation that is happening in Malaysia. Yes they know what is going on, and yes they are aware, but the question is do they care? Being brought up in a peaceful, modern and materialistic lifestyle, many fears that their comfortable life would be threaten. Thinking that it is not their problem and that they are not content to sacrifice for equity, and they rather live in degradation.
The bailout of big companies such Malaysian Airline (MAS), TimeDotCom, etc, has been a major issue that exposes the corruption and corporate governance in this country. The presentation by group 2 and group 5, explaining the causes of this act and the solution to over come this problem. Cronyism and nepotism which is a commend practice in this country; have given way to incapable individual to handle major projects. These individuals are neither experienced nor professional enough, thus causing them to mismanage their company into total failure. The bailout of these cronies by the government using the taxpayer's money has cause a major catastrophe especially when it was paid double or triple the market price. The lack of transparency and also public awareness has caused the majority of Malaysian to be uninformed thus failing to express their protest against Bailout.
The presentation by group 4 and 6 explain the existence of AUKU act in collegesand universities. It was first implemented in 1971 to control and weaken student organization, thus controlling student movement and also the growth of political elite. As youth are the future politician in this country, this act restrains the development of critical thinking and thus is the caused of student apathy. Undermining democracy and freedom of speech suppresses not only students but also academics. They fear that their education or career would be susceptible if they were to be involved in any movements. In the past many students and also academics were victims of this act. As there are still no ramparts against this act, they had to suffer a valuable price for standing up for what they believed in. The relevance of this act favors only the ruling elite in pursuit of their gain however undermines the right of the youth to be heard.
4. Abolish ISA
ISA or Internal Security Act was enforced during the British settlement to act as a defense against communist. As discussed by group 3 and group 7, we are aware that at present this act is misused for political purposes. Many opposition leaders and activists were detained under this act as the ruling party felt threaten by their movements. Claming that this act is a preventive law, detention were made without proof and trial, going against the principal of human rights. This act should be abolished, as there are many capable laws, which protects the country from ruthless threats. Education plays a major role in eradicating ISA. People have to know and to be aware of the injustice that the act comprises. Only then, using the brave voices, people power and the support from each and every individual shall ISA be abolished.