With the general election around the corner, Gabungan Bertindak Malaysia (GBM) calls upon all political parties to reflect on their manifestos and promises made during the 2018 general election when preparing their manifestos for the upcoming election.
GBM urges all the parties to present clearly their vision for the country to move forward and face the challenges that lie ahead in the next five years.
The 14th term of Parliament was unique in the country’s history in that it saw all major parties being given their chance to govern. As such, these parties should assess and showcase how many of their promises were fulfilled during their stint in power.
As the upcoming general election will be the first general election in which Undi 18 [the lowering of the minimum voting age from 21 to 18} will be implemented, GBM wishes to remind all actors in political parties, civil society, public institutions and higher institutions of learning to encourage the youth and not hinder their political participation.
It is disheartening to know that – according to a statement made by the University of Malaya Students’ Union – the university administration disallowed a vocal former student of theirs from speaking at a recent forum on campus; the PA system was shut down and the audience dismissed after he took the stage.
A similar incident also took place in a private college. The Lyceum Society, a student organisation in New Era University College, alleged that the college’s student affairs department attempted several times to stop their forum, which discussed political developments after the 2018 general election.
In line with the constitutional amendment to lower the age of voting from 21 to 18, GBM hopes that the youth, particularly students in higher institutions of learning, will be given the freedom to explore and develop their political awareness.
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Finally, GBM appeals to all Malaysians to come out in force to vote. As citizens in a democratic country, it is our right and responsibility to decide on the next government that will lead this country for the next five years, and your vote counts.
Let us together put 222 individuals who are honest and committed to serving the nation into Parliament to build a better Malaysia for all.
Stanley Yong Yew Wei is chairperson of Gabungan Bertindak Malaysia (GBM)