Youths aim to Tolak BN
Writer: Gan Pei Ling
Published: Fri, 29 Mar 2013
KUALA LUMPUR: Local undergraduates out to make a difference are pooling resources to mount a nationwide campaign for change ahead of the upcoming general election.
(From left) Khairul, Azan, Samad, Fadhil and Ahmad Afif at the press
The newly-formed Gelombang Anak Muda Tolak Umno/Barisan Nasional (Tolak) is banking on youth voters to unseat the ruling regime, said its president Azan Safar.
“We’ll visit 10 states, especially parliamentary seats that are BN strongholds,” said the Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia undergraduate at a press conference at the KL & Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall.
Students from 26 university organisations will be taking advantage of their mid-semester break to campaign in Perak, Penang, Sarawak, Terengganu, Kelantan, Pahang, Johor and Malacca.
The youths who are digging into their own pockets to fund the tour will be travelling mainly via public transport and on foot.
Despite the recent spike in political violence, Azan said they are not afraid of BN supporters disrupting their ceramah.
“We are anticipating there might be thugs but we are not afraid. We want to get our message across to the people,” said Azan, who is also the president of Gabungan Mahasiswa Islam Se-Malaysia (Gamis).
Lau Yi Leong, a representative from the Malaysia Youth and Students Democratic Movement (Dema), said the youths are fed up with the BN which has mismanaged the country’s economy.
“It also interferes in higher education institutions and restricts academic freedom,” said the undergraduate who is reading law in a private college.
Tolak has packaged their reasons for rejecting BN into a 25-page information kit.
Corruption, cronyism, human rights violation, escalating crime and cost of living are among some of the issues highlighted in the booklet.
Khairul Izzaz from the International Islamic Universtity said they will distribute the information kit to the public during their campaign.
The coalition will also be working with other non-governmental organisations to organise ceramah during their tour.
Among them are Himpunan Hijau in Pahang along with groups demanding for oil royalty in Terengganu and Kelantan.
In a bid to woo young voters, the BN government has resorted to dishing out smartphone rebates of RM200 and RM250 to unmarried citizens above 21 years old and earning less than RM3,000.
To counter what they describe as dirty politics, Tolak is embarking to collect signatures from youths on a 1km-long banner
In addition, it will organise youth carnivals in the Klang Valley with wayang kulit shows to provide political education to the public.
The coalition aims to organise a 10,000-strong youth rally in Kuala Lumpur before polling day.
National laureate Datuk A Samad Said recited his poem “Di Atas Padang Sejarah” at the press conference to show his support for the youths.
“I came as an individual (because) I believe their struggle should be supported by the people,” said the author-turned-activist.
Also present were KLSCAH Youth deputy president Fok Wai Mun and Gamis political council president Ahmad Afif Zulkipli and National Association of Felda Settlers’ Children representative Fadhil Osman.
For more information about Tolak, see https://www.facebook.com/pages/Gelombang-Anak-Muda-Tolak-UmnoBn-TOLAK/138778492957684?fref=ts.