September 3, 2016
Patronising Politicians like UMNO’s Nazri Aziz et. al should SHUT UP
by Scott Ng
The Tengku Mahkota of Johor and Veteran UMNO Pol. Nazri–Generation Gap
The argument between Tourism and Culture Minister Nazri Aziz and Bersatu youth leader Syed Saddiq Abdul Rahman brings to the fore a concern among young Malaysian activists over a tendency in their elders to treat their opinions with contempt. Often enough, that contempt is implied rather than crudely expressed in the way Nazri has done.
Called a “little boy” by the minister, Syed fired back with a statement that accused UMNO of arrogance and being anti-youth. He noted that the youngest minister from UMNO, Khairy Jamaluddin, is already 40 years old and that many so-called youth leaders in the party are above 40.
Indeed, considering UMNO’s apparently inability to refresh its leadership with young blood carrying fresh ideals, Syed’s accusation rings true enough.
Nazri may cite his own attainment of a senator’s position at the age of 36 as an example of UMNO’s recognition of youthful talent, but that was a long time ago and one of a few isolated cases. And yes, we are aware that our Prime Minister was elected to Parliament at 23 and quickly joined the Cabinet. But he is from an elite class, the son of a former Prime Minister and a member of an aristocratic family in Pahang.
Can Nazri name anyone below 40 whom UMNO has given the opportunity to wield significant power on behalf of Gen Y? No, the Youth Parliament is not a good example.
Nazri’s dismissal of the 24-year-old Syed as a “little boy” is a perfect demonstration of the hubris of age. Syed is right to assume that in Nazri’s mind all young people are little boys. Many youths do feel left out of the political process. Our concerns are not heard and our efforts unrecognised, if not criticised.
Syed is also right in saying that the people who now wield power give little stock to character when promoting someone to political leadership. It seems that the only things that matter are seniority and blind loyalty.
Aging and Corrupt UMNO Leader and Prime Minister, Najib Razak
There will come a time when UMNO and, in fact, all other political parties in Malaysia will regret their attitude of contempt towards young activists, whether this attitude is latent or obvious. As youths get more and more disenchanted, there will be a gradual draining of the voter bases of these parties.
We young Malaysians are becoming better informed, and it has become clear to many of us that no political party currently active in the country is worthy of our trust.