Siti Kasim’s Maju group packs them in at maiden event

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Overwhelming response - Photograph: Simon Tan

Benedict Lopez reports on how this fledgling group is drawing in the crowds with its more inclusive vision.

And you thought the long struggle to save Malaysia had ended with the 9 May 2018 general election, which witnessed regime change.

Close to 2,000 people thronged the Kuala Lumpur and Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall last night for a forum titled “The Battle is Not Over after May 9th – Be Empowered to Save Malaysia”.

It was the first leg of a roadshow organised by the newly formed Malaysian Action for Justice and Unity Foundation (Maju). The overwhelming public response surpassed the organisers’ expectations.

Launched on 28 August by activist lawyer Siti Kasim, Maju hopes to bring together Malaysians of all ethnicities and religions, irrespective of their background, to network with the goal of creating a more inclusive nation. This is critical as the nation is now divided along ethnic and religious lines – which could be detrimental for future generations.

The group has an advisory committee made up of some familiar names – Tajuddin Rasdi, Lim Teck Ghee, Patrick Teoh, Tawfik Ismail and Joe Samad.

The event last night began with the singing of the national anthem and a pledge to uphold the tenets of the Rukun Negara.

In her speech, Siti Kasim noted that the majority of Malaysians are peace-loving and want to lead a good life. The nation urgently needs to forge greater unity among these people of various ethnicities and religions with common aspirations and goals.

Malaysians have worked hard to make our country what it is today, and they continue to contribute to its development and prosperity, observed Siti. Many of them even struggle to eke out a living on a daily basis.

The Maju founder pointed out that government and politics require different values. “Progress comes through incremental changes” based on the needs of society.

Quoting a phrase from Abraham Lincoln’s legendary Gettysburg Address, Siti Kasim said any government should be “of the people, by the people and for the people.”

The country’s needs and desires should be voiced by the people who elect the government. Liberty, she said, does not come from the government but from the people in the country.

In this, Maju hopes to catalyse change in the socio-political landscape and mould a more progressive Malaysia.

But it will always remain “an apolitical organisation”. If necessary, Maju might field or endorse independent candidates in the next general election if the political parties are unable to fulfil the people’s aspirations. The group hopes to be the conscience of the people.

The next speaker, popular columnist Prof Tajuddin Rasdi, envisioned a progressive and a more inclusive Malaysia for all its people.

Prof Tajuddin received a warm welcome as he entered the hall

He highlighted three commonalities for all Malaysians:

  • This country belongs to all Malaysians and not political parties or individuals
  • Only Malaysians – and no one else – are in charge of their destiny
  • Malaysians own this country – not government agencies or individuals

Prof Tajuddin asserted that when any minority is attacked, it is an attack on Malaysia.

To achieve its goals, Maju aims to build a strong base of supporters from all walks of life. For only RM50 a year, any Malaysian can become a Maju supporter.

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Benedict Lopez was director of the Malaysian Investment Development Authority in Stockholm and economics counsellor at the Malaysian embassy there in 2010-2014. He covered all five Nordic countries in the course of his work. An eternal optimist and now an Aliran member, he believes Malaysia can provide its people with the same benefits and privileges found in the Nordic countries - not a far-fetched dream but one that he hopes will be realised in his lifetime
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Connie Chan
Connie Chan
26 Dec 2019 6.14pm

May I ask a question?
Can learning Jawi help the people progress by leaps and bound internationally among the develop countries in the economy world.

VLongrich
18 Nov 2019 9.50am

Great moving forward indeed. Malaysia definitely need a strong voice & more constructive actions not only the check & balance on the running government, but more importantly against the forever extremes racism based umno-pas opposition party that continuing posting treats on racial sentiments in Malaysia.
May the force be with Maju! Syabas!!! 💪💪💪

evelyn
evelyn
17 Nov 2019 1.44pm

Thank goodness we still have people like Siti Kassim. Way to go! I feel much relief to read names like Tajuddin Rasdi, Lim Teck Ghee, Patrick Teoh, Tawfik Ismail and Joe Samad. People who do not degrade others in order to put themselves on pedestals. Old patterns of the past have reared its ugly head in less than 2 years. Thank you, thank you, all you good people to the rescue!

Gunalan Kanagaratnam
Gunalan Kanagaratnam
16 Nov 2019 8.26pm

Delighted to read this piece. I guess its just more than an aspiration at this stage but guess there’s more to come in the days and months ahead. I also hope there’s a Malaysian Indian representation at advisory level. Our people cannot continue to be ‘alienated’.

HumbleBee
HumbleBee
16 Nov 2019 10.51am

Can I suggest MAJU approach Rafizi to join? Rafizi is also a righteous fighter to Save Malaysia. Now he wants to stay away from politics but I am sure he still have heart to Save Malaysia. Since MAJU is not a political party, he will be happy to join.

Ref: https://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/nation/2019/11/15/ive-no-intention-of-returning-to-active-politics-says-rafizi/

David Nga
David Nga
16 Nov 2019 5.30pm
Reply to  HumbleBee

An excellent suggestion, indeed. Rafizi – a consistently level headed worthy human being plus son and patriot of Malaysia. in the eyes of this southern neighbor.

Jitendra al Ranchhod
Jitendra al Ranchhod
20 Nov 2019 1.01pm
Reply to  HumbleBee

Totally agree with you

Robert Chung
Robert Chung
16 Nov 2019 10.23am

Dengan wujudnya Aliran, Maju, Malaysia masih benar-benar ada hadapan (bukan Pakatan Harapan)! Saya sebagai rakyat biasa kecil-kecilan yang cintai keamanan, keharmonian, kebahagian akan menumpahkan sokongan penuh kepada pertubuhan tersebut sehingga matlamat berjaya ditunaikan!

Woo Chee Kong
Woo Chee Kong
15 Nov 2019 11.23pm

A step towards achieving Malaysia bermaruah. Thanks.

Shaku
15 Nov 2019 10.59pm

Many thanks Siti for your blone SitiStyle courage you inject into is all Malaysians. How very proud of you is Malay Bravo, I will root for you to stand as a peoples’ independant candidate in the coming election. 😂🤗

Chachacheah
Chachacheah
15 Nov 2019 9.49pm

I AM WITH YOU, MAJU.
MALAYSIA FOR ALL MALAYSIANS.

Christina Teo
Christina Teo
15 Nov 2019 5.33pm

Tq Siti for recognizing the contributions of us ALL Malaysians. On the 9th of May, l was the first at the gate to vote and quickly voted to speed off to Bentong to execute my duties as a Polling Agent. I live by this lyric of our national anthem ” Tanah tumpahnya darahku”. I have voluntarily worked and served my nation all these years of my life as I am approaching my 50s in two years. I will, want and desire to join Maju.

susan
susan
15 Nov 2019 3.10pm

We r citizens of this land. Malaysia.. We all hv a say on how the government we elected runs the nation. We all hv a voice. Let’s join this platform and voice our concerns. SYABAS MAJU.. We are one and we will voice.

Molly Toh
Molly Toh
15 Nov 2019 1.45pm

We just want to be Malaysian. Nobody should get special care.

Ben Phang
Ben Phang
15 Nov 2019 9.45am

How to join MAJU?

Aliran admin
Admin
15 Nov 2019 1.09pm
Reply to  Ben Phang

Try the Maju website.

Siva
Siva
15 Nov 2019 3.01pm
Reply to  Ben Phang

Liberalize the Malaysian Society.
Let there be no more racial mentions.
We are Malaysians, we are Humans.
Let no politician invade the Lifes of people.

Jesmond Lee
Jesmond Lee
15 Nov 2019 9.12am

Is very good to have this forum, but unfortunate it doesnt reach the less elite malays and others who are the real masses that we need to reach. Think of a way to reach this group .

LawrenceTeh
LawrenceTeh
25 Dec 2019 11.01am
Reply to  Jesmond Lee

Rafizi the answer

Wan Ismail b Wan Annuar
Wan Ismail b Wan Annuar
14 Nov 2019 11.57pm

We need a third force to kick out Pakatan n UMNO/BN/ PAS coalition

April Tan
April Tan
23 Dec 2019 7.19pm

Agreed with you

Victor moy
Victor moy
14 Nov 2019 8.29pm

Its time..an NGO for the people, no colours..no race..just plain Malaysians.
No fear..why ?..When one speaks n talks the truth..no politics..from the heart. No left..no right looks. No fear. Straight from the heart.
Poverty sees no colour..no race.
Help the poor n needy. No politics no race agenda.
We are moving NOWHERE for over 60 years.
I salute you..Ms Kassim..Mr Rasdi n the rest of the committer. You guys n gals are the REAL SAVIOURS of a BETTER MALAYSIA..
Not the politicians. Bless you this NGO LEADERS.

Hamzah bin Osman
Hamzah bin Osman
14 Nov 2019 3.14pm

MAJU kehadapan. Lets grow and glow. There is hope to Maju.

David Nga
David Nga
15 Nov 2019 3.47am

Warmest sincere best wishes to all with genuine Malaysian heart in MAJU and Malaysia, for your very right and patriotic endeavor to bless Malaysia and Malaysians with a genuinely Malaysian Malaysia.

Saluting Ms Kasim, Messrs Tajuddin Rasdi, Lim Teck Ghee, Patrick Teoh, Tawfik Ismail and Joe Samad.

MAJU kehadapan.

Saluting too all with genuine Malaysian heart Malaysians and Malaysia.

Keep growing and glowing most strongly, infectiously and successfully, all the way through.

Hormat.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HOtZKnhOSqg

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AMDlAXdyKZM

April Tan
April Tan
23 Dec 2019 7.10pm

Agreed with you. Infact racism was created by politicians for thier own purpose. We all Malaysian just want to have peaceful and harmony life.

Peter G
Peter G
14 Nov 2019 3.07pm

Halleluyah !! Can i say this ? Its so thrilling… its MajuThrilling lah. its just like attending them dap ceramah pre ge14. Not anymore DAP !!

SNaidu, Dr.
SNaidu, Dr.
14 Nov 2019 1.05pm

Many r worried that if umno n pas seize power of govt.,then we will be in trouble.There have been n r some good people today in d above.The revelations have informed us of their shenanigans.We need to give this govt more time, to come down to the grasp of the ‘true’ realities of our multicultural,pluralistic, evolving nation.the Constitution,Rukun Negara,Rahmatan Lil Alamin, Maqasid Shariah, Shared Prosperity, MINORITIES r EQUALS n human beings…-these deep-meaning concepts need to BE committedly propagated by the national media, education institutions, NGOs,.. for the society n the YOUTH PARTICULARLY.Leaders must fulfill their promises n proactively function.Wong ch,marina m,siti k,.have clearly pointed out how we can do better.Humility.

Manjaii
Manjaii
29 Dec 2019 12.56pm
Reply to  SNaidu, Dr.

The problem is the media is propogating hatred, racism, playing on sentiments of religion and race. Pitching race against race. Like there is absolutely nothing good in this country. Read the news prints and internet …. absolutely utter unprogressive nor contribute to nation development. There are numerous good efforts done by the govt…..why aren’t the journalist and media put forth constructive suggestions in yr writings.
Can I berate a person and say that’s freedom of speech and my (human) right?
Let’s hv a progressive and responsible media reporting.

Thiru
Thiru
14 Nov 2019 12.19pm

It is a cry for help and you have extended your hand. Thank you and blessed for your efforts.

Ronnie liu
Ronnie liu
14 Nov 2019 11.36am

Tq for tne report

Siri
Siri
14 Nov 2019 9.59am

This group hopefully will fill the gaps n hopes of good Malaysians who hv been delusioned by PH govt..

Thiagarajah Sathasivam(Brian Raj)
Thiagarajah Sathasivam(Brian Raj)
14 Nov 2019 8.56am

Yes, democracy means people govt. citizens must be colour blind. One people. Anak Malaysia.