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Promoting Social Democratic Thinking, Alternatives and Practices

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Youth participation in the multiracial and democratic opposition to the Najib Government

Nalina Nair, Women’s Wing State Secretary of the Democratic Action Party (DAP) Malaysia


Indonesia’s first President once said, “Give me a thousand men, I’ll move a mountain. Give me 10 youths, I’ll shake the world.” This well known quote exemplifies the importance of young people in contributing to nation-building. Throughout history, young people have proved to be vital components in changing political landscapes by constantly confronting old ways and bringing in new ideas of reform and progress.

In Southeast Asia, the struggle for independence was fought and led by the youth. In Indonesia, the young Sukarno, Mohammad Hatta and Sutan Sjahrir were at the forefront for Indonesians freedom. General Aung San of Burma and José Rizal of the Philippines, both called ‘Father of Independence’ in the respective countries, were in their 20’s when they fought against imperialism.

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SOCDEM Asia Political Programme

Promoting Social Democratic Thinking, Alternatives and Practices
Approved November 2018

Socdem Asia is a regional grouping of political parties, platforms, and movements who share social democratic values and perspectives and work to combat inequality and ensure human dignity for all. Together we aim to promote the values and practices of social democracy and fight for alternatives to elitist politics and neoliberal capitalist economic organization.

Continuing Democratic Contestation in Asia

Home to more than half the world’s population, Asia a crucial cog in the machine that is globalization. The region’s march along economic integration had not translated into development that is equitable nor inclusive,  even as the region achieved vaunted levels of growth.

The economic growth taking place in Asia is within the dominant framework of neo-liberal, free-market economics.  Asian economies have been marked by the conditionalities of international financial institutions (IFIs), in tandem with national and global elites and transnational corporations aggressively promoting a narrow vision of development centered one-sidedly on GDP growth, investment inflows, trade expansion, and fiscal stability. This often comes at the expense of wiping out entire industries and agriculture across Asia, destroying the region’s natural resources, and working people’s being pushed down into unprecedented levels of poverty and marginalization.

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Socdem Asia Statement on the Mar 24 elections in Thailand

Socdem Asia is wishing Thailand a peaceful, fair and free elections that represents the will of the Thai people. We send our best wishes and wish for more power to Future Forward Party and Commoners Party, affiliate parties of Socdem Asia!

This is the first elections since the military junta takeover in 2014. We recognize though that democracy and civic freedoms have a long way to go in the country despite today's democratic exercise. Leading to today's polls, opposition parties continue to be harassed and intimidated as the military junta try to maintain power and tip the scales in their favor.

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