The Star: Non-partisan group meets Hulu Langat community leaders

Choong Mek Zhin (The Star Metro) follows UndiMsia!’s #HangatkanLangat initiative and documents the trip originally posted here.

PLANS to spread the UndiMsia! word among the Hulu Langat public is well underway after a visit by some 20 youths from the non-partisan group to meet with local community leaders to gather some insights recently.

Dubbed “Misi Hulu Langat”, the group introduced their plans for a couple of activities including a photography exhibition featuring local issues and a treasure hunt ala “Amazing Race” using public transportation during the meeting with local community leaders.

These activities will mark the introduction of the movement’s main objectives that is to emphasise citizen empowerment through promotion of their participation in the country’s democratic process.

Samuel Lim, 19, a university student who was one of the few who attended the meet, said that he was drawn to the movement as it resonated with his own philosophy.

Breaking the ice: The group introducing themselves before getting down to the nitty-gritty of getting to know the local community leaders, engage their help and get some insights into the local community’s problems.

“I was raised by my parents to fight for what is right. The environment in which I was brought up prioritised justice,” he said.

He was attracted to the passion of the members when he first joined and felt it was important to educate youths on the importance of voting based on social and economic issues.

“Currently, it still feels like we are in the experimentation stage but I believe if things are executed properly, we will be able to make a real impact on this community,” Lim said.

Hazwany Jamaluddin, 23, who is also a university student said that UndiMsia! was a good platform for youths to do many things.

“At first, I felt like the movement’s objective of creating a more independent community who are more aware of issues around them to be impossible.

“But after watching and taking part in the movement’s weekly discussions for some time now, I am starting to feel more positive about it,” she said.

Graduate Teoh Tee Keat, 24, said that he liked the idea UndiMsia! as it stood for getting people to take control of their own problems.

Currently, UndiMsia! is holding various activities to promote its purposes and forming Youth Action Groups (YAGs) in various communities to walk the talk.

In its first year, the movement is focusing on three issues, namely socio-economic rights (food and housing), civil and political rights (freedom of expression) and the budget in respect of education.

As one of the major problems identified by the movement is that many youths have no idea how to go about solving their community problems, the group’s YAGs are equipped with a “D-I-Y Toolkit” to reach solutions.

The four aspects of the toolkit are information (supporting the need for accurate user-friendly information on key rights), process (facilitating engagement with elected representatives and community leaders in indentifying issues and ensuring promises are kept and representation shortcomings addressed), action (organising and mobilising YAGs) and platform (co-opts support and involvement of other education-based civil-society organisations or initiatives to complement user-friendly information available for all).

Contact [email protected] if you would like UndiMsia! to run its flagship #IdolaDemokrasi GameShop to activate your community.

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Malaysian Centre for Constitutionalism and Human Rights (MCCHR) is a non-profit based in Kuala Lumpur with the mission of promoting active democratic participation and human rights awareness.

Posted on 26 October 2011. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0.

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