“What Say Youth” Townhall – The Untold Stories of the Few

December 3, 2017

Much has been said about the “What Say Youth” Townhall that took place on the 21st of November which featured two political heavyweights – Tun Mahathir and Kit Siang. Most, if not all that has been said painted, frankly, a bad picture of the two politicians.

 

Were those stories representative of what happened at the Youth Townhall? To a certain extent, admittedly so.

 

But allow us to tell you the stories of the Few. And in doing that, we begin with the story of the Few who want to make a difference.

 

The conception of this townhall began with a few young people under 35 years old who believe in a better Malaysia. We believe that a better Malaysia comes about through policy making, and in order to get involved in policy making, politics is fortunately or unfortunately – a reality.

 

Having said that, we realised from our peers that they might not necessarily share the same dream as we do. Statistics show that 70% of young people are not interested in politics.

 

There lay our problem – a better Malaysia is contingent upon the people of our future. Yet, those who form that future do not seem to want to be a part of it.

 

To bridge that gap, it became apparent that two things needed to be done – engagement and empowerment – hence the Youth Townhall.

 

Did we achieve these objectives? Quite so. We will tell you why through the stories of the Few who chose to instil hope.

 

Amongst the criticisms hurled at the new opposition alliance and of the past of Tun Mahathir was a young man who took the microphone, and who said this:-

 

“(It) starts with us…all of us are youngsters, we should step up, join politics to do…our part to bring unity…if we have people who step up for truth and justice, I think whatever it is, whoever becomes the Prime Minister would be able to lead (the country) properly.”

 

Only one brave voice took the microphone that night. A few others who did not but who we had private conversations with us told us that the still believed in Malaysia; that to not vote is a waste of democracy and that they are expecting change.

 

There lies empowerment. There lies engagement. But more importantly, there lies Hope.

 

According to, Malcom Gladwall, the author of The Tipping Point, "The Law of the Few" provides that any kind of social epidemic depends on the Few. In other words, the 'work' will be done by 20 percent of the participants.

 

So here’s to the untold stories of the Few who will make a difference – the long nights, the many meetings, the hot-headed discussions; and here’s to the untold the stories of the Few who choose to instil hope. Our stories do not make headlines – but our hearts and efforts collectively will be the unseen winds of change.

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©2018 by Michelle Ng Mei Sze.