Since the launch of UndiMsia! on 16 September 2011, we’ve been receiving positive and encouraging comments from random people on the work we do. There are also the rare occasions when we’re asked, “What do you really do?” A reasonable and wise question really and if you haven’t been following us on Twitter, Facebook or the articles written by many of our passionate volunteers and supporters on this blog, please do read on.
In a nutshell, UndiMsia! seeks to encourage youths to exercise their votes wisely and as citizens, to take effective actions to make their community better. Our pilot target group is predominantly the youths in Hulu Langat although our activities have manifested in many parts of the country and abroad.
Many people have mistaken us as another institution that promotes the youth votes but what we’re really doing is to encourage those who do or intend to vote to exercise their votes wisely. We also believe that a citizen’s duty is not restricted to casting their ballot once in every five years. The power to improve our lives does not lie in the hands of our elected representatives alone. It lies in our daily actions.
Our Laporan Rakyat project has provided us with an opportunity to speak with the communities in Hulu Langat and it comes as no surprise that the majority of youths do not really know who their local elected representatives are, what they’ve done to serve those who have elected them to power and what are the issues affecting them. This revelation begs three important questions:
UndiMsia! seeks to create youths’ awareness on those questions through four components:
We will disseminate six easy-to-understand infographics on six national issues this year. The issues are: freedom of expression, government budget on education, rights to adequate food and housing, rights of indigenous people, corruption and the independence of the judiciary.
These issues will be supplemented by short video blogs.
We encourage youths to understand and participate in our democratic process through the information they receive, the Laporan Rakyat, the IdolaDemokrasi gameshop and other relevant and innovative youth activities. The idea behind this is for them to engage with their local elected representatives and come up with effective solutions to the issues affecting their communities together.
We have launched the Laporan Rakyat project since November 2011 and continue to conduct the survey in Hulu Langat. We also invite any Malaysian from the age of 18 and above to fill in the scorecards online or at our centre.
We have conducted nine gameshops with youths in Kuala Lumpur, Selangor, Penang, Melaka, Pahang and Negeri Sembilan.
Please read some of our participants’ experiences here:
We have hosted a forum with Idris Jala, Chairperson of PEMANDU to talk about the National Key Result Areas, Government Transformation Programme and Economic Transformation Programme. The forum saw a robust discussions between Idris Jala and the youths. We’ve organised a debate on the peaceful assembly bill with the Kedah Gerakan Youth Chief where youths were given a chance to voice their thoughts on the bill.
We will be launching a photo competition and exhibition project in Hulu Langat on 31 March 2012. The contestants will be given a platform to present their photos on the theme “My Ideal Home” and engage their local communities and elected representatives on a discussions on housing issues in Hulu Langat.
Through the IdolaDemokrasi gameshop, we encourage the participants to form a Youth Action Group (YAG). The objective of this is to empower youths to take relevant and effective actions in solving the issues that affect them and their communities. We believe that it’s time for youths to move from apathy to participatory.
A Do-It-Yourself toolkit will be disseminated in April 2012 to facilitate each YAG in achieving this.
We believe in sharing resources with other NGOs and civil society groups that are moving towards a common cause. With a common platform, expertise and knowledge can be shared to benefit youths and their communities.
If you believe in what we’re doing, we urge you to join us. There are many ways you can contribute towards achieving this mission:
Pick up the phone and call us at 03-22011454 or email [email protected] to talk about what you can do to vote for a better Malaysia.
and many more here.