PN should stop belittling youths: DAPSY Nicholas Theng

Press Statement by the Chairman of DAPSY Jelutong, 7 October 2010:

PN should stop belittling youths!

As a young man and having graduated from university not too long ago, I am truly angered by the recent fracas caused by the Higher Education Minister Dato Dr Noraini Ahmad’s “recommendation” to IPTs to postpone ongoing student intakes and registrations.

Dato Dr Noraini Ahmad has described it as a “nightmare” but I can confidently say that she is oblivious to the pains of being a student. By issuing such a recommendation at such a late hour, she has caused an entire nation’s youth to face a crisis that could have been well avoided. Covid-19 cases in Malaysia have been on a steady rise since early September, she was well within her power to issue such a recommendation a month ahead to save everyone to hassle. But like many other ministers before her in the backdoor government, she decided to create a national storm of bad decisions.

This is another damning piece of evidence that the youth in Malaysia are constantly being ridiculed and bullied by the ministers and politicians in the Perikatan National government. They have shown a lackadaisical attitude toward the well-being of the future generation of our nation. And also shown no qualms about bullying or mocking the youth when it makes them look bad.

We saw this when Syed Saddiq was constantly harassed and mocked in Parliament by PN politicians. Syed Saddiq is one of the youngest members of Parliament and a voice of the youth. Yet the constant cries of “grandson” when he tries to speak show just how much the views and opinions of the youth are belittled and neglected by Perikatan National. If a properly elected member of Parliament can be treated that way, what hope is there for the rest of us in Malaysia? When will we be taken seriously?

We see an even dire example in the case of Vevenoah Mosibin, a regular girl who simply wanted to highlight the poor digital infrastructure and internet coverage in Sabah. Instead of responding to her plight and making improvements, two Deputy Ministers (Datuk Zahidi Abidin and Datuk Abdul Rahim Bakri) launched a scathing attack on her.

What our Deputy Ministers did was akin to online bullying and harassment on a national-scale. It was only after intense and wide-spread backlash that they decided to apologise but it was clear that was only an act to extinguish the fire. Their initial actions already showed how much disdain and disrespect they show towards our youth. What they want the youth in Malaysia to do is simply shut up and follow.

The latest fiasco is but in a long line of disdain toward the youth in Malaysia, what is alarming is how this is becoming a standard operating procedure for the backdoor government.

Like her colleagues, Dato Dr Noraini Ahmad has little to no regard for the wellbeing of the youth in the country. It’s clear now that there was no contingency or immediate assistance plan by her ministry for the students that were going to be heavily affected by her decision. Instead, she elected to push everything to the higher education institutions, private companies and political parties to pick up the slack on her behalf.

Unlike the Syed Saddiq and Vevenoah fracas, Dato Dr Noraini Ahmad’s bad decision has major financial implications on people around the country. Costs have been paid and money spent by worried parents who only want the best for their child. In light of Covid-19, many of them are already suffering, nobody can afford a disaster of this scale. If Dato Dr Noraini Ahmad cannot perform her duties properly, then she should resign immediately.

As a young man, what angers me most is that our youth are constantly humiliated, belittled and harassed when our voices get loud enough. The worrying trend shows that there is worse to come for us. So, I say to the youth in this country: Do not go gentle into that good night. Raise and rage so our voices one day will have might.

NICHOLAS THENG
Chairman of Jelutong DAPSY & MBPP Councillor