Danni Rais

 

 

 

 

 

It is very difficult now to find a group of individuals who would concur at the same time that the nation is steadily going the right way. Rather, asking a group of people what they think of the state of the country is akin to a school of piranhas that hasn’t eaten in weeks, attacking and devouring at every little issue out there.

However, we are not here to criticise, or to even instigate that there is something wrong with Malaysia. That would be pointless, as there are plenty of other people out there doing so. We have identified that the core issue with Malaysia’s future is the lack of young blood committed in taking part in nation building. Just how many of us in this room are actually actively taking part in nation building? Politics itself is no longer sexy. It is not like the days of old when many people were part of political parties, whether active or not, to ensure the country goes along the lines in which they dream of. Nowadays, nation building has taken a life of its own in a different way; that the youth are now more interested in charities and social programs. This is still nation building, but perhaps not in the concerted way that is needed for the country to move forward.

Did you know that the first Cabinet that Malaysia had had an average age of just over 30? Nowadays, we have a Cabinet made mostly of grandfathers. Yet, we still watch the days past by, hoping that a breed of youngsters will instill hope in the future.

The time has come for us to not oppose, to not revolt, but to voice our ideas and concerns in a proper manner. We are here today to discuss, debate, and gather our thoughts on issues pertaining to the country. We realised that without young blood in nation building, just like in any other organisation out there, there will not be a bright future. And so long as our voices or our vision is not shared, then we will see everything wilt away. And this is why we bring you ONE. A platform for youths to gather and create a voice for the future.

It surely has been a long time since we achieved Merdeka. In fact, it was 59 years ago. Malaysia is now a well known country, well towards becoming a developed nation, however we need to ensure that we continue on this road map. The system and the ideals of then worked and brought us here now. However, will they remain relevant 100 years from Merdeka? Vision 2020 aside, we believe the time has come for us to imagine the journey for Malaysia from now until 2057. By then, it will be our children, or even our grandchildren, who will be sons of the earth. What do we want to leave for them?

What better way than for us to produce a Charter for the future. Something that puts our ideas and beliefs for the future on paper. We as ONE have come up with a draft Charter, encompassing issues regarding nation building, from Unity, to Education, to Democracy, to Politics, to Women Empowerment. And then we realised, what for we ‘syok sendiri’, when we don’t even really know what everyone else wants? We think that Education is the basis for any country, however unity is a pillar of education. And this is where you come in. We need you to share with us your thoughts, your ideas, on these issues. Should affirmative action remain in 2057, keeping in mind Article 153 of the Federal Constitution? Will women finally have equal footing as men in the corporate world in 2057? Will vernacular schools still have relevance in 2057, if we ensure that all children become trilingual? Or as radical as it may sound, what if we were to introduce a new election process, whereby the Prime Minister is elected by the people, and Parliament were to remain the same?

This is why we have decided to exist. We need to push the boundaries of our imagination, and imagine for a second, or even for this day, this auspicious and historical day, in which you have all decided to come and join us on a Saturday morning, to dictate the way the nation functions.

2057 is still a long way away. But I’m sure if you were to have told anyone in 1957 about 2020, they would have said the same. We will remain apolitical with our views, as for now, they remain just that; views. Therefore, let’s not take this matter lightly. It is not the destination that matters, but the journey.

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