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.