Give way to younger leadership

Hafidz Baharom

THE Malaysian Insight had a poll on Monday asking its readers whether they would support a Pakatan Harapan interim plan of Dr Mahathir Mohamed and Wan Azizah Wan Ismail as Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister respectively.

The results at the time of closing was 52% “Yes” to 48% voting “No”. And that perhaps proves that The Malaysian Insight’s regular readers are in favour of such a combo leading the nation. 

Obviously, I did not share the same view. I voted “No” because on the same day this poll came out, I read how Iceland’s new prime minister was a 41-year-old woman. I remembered that Canada has a 45-year-old prime minister. 

I remembered that France has a 39-year-old President. 

So, why are Malaysians keen on Tun Mahathir as a candidate for prime minister yet again?

Do older populations vote for younger leadership, whereas younger populations vote for older leaders?

According to the CIA World Factbook published 2016, Malaysia has a median age of 28 years old.  Iceland’s population is aged 36-37, Canada’s is 40-43, France between 40 and 43.

In this case, it sounds more of a case of the desperation to please all parties within PH, provided that PKR does not receive an objection letter from Sg Buloh prison. Considering how Pos Malaysia riders are on strike due to the low wage of RM1,400, that might take a while. 

All said and done, the problem with PH is in fact the same problem triggered by Anwar Ibrahim unsuccessfully in 1998, and successfully by Tun Abdul Razak in 1969. It is the want for the old man to move on and hand over the reigns to younger leaders. 

Something that even our companies and civil service don’t understand by refusing to groom successors internally for a succession plan and thus insisting on driving up the age of retirement. 

Only one political party, perhaps, has a youth leader below the median age. Or maybe two, since I’ve no idea about the Malaysian Socialist Party’s organisation structure. 

Yes, as Khairy Jamaluddin says, the youth needs to speak up. Unfortunately, we live in a country where 40-year-olds in politics and activism consider themselves youthful and relevant. We have leaders at the age of 60 and beyond believing they can actually relate to 21-year-old voters. 

I hope more Malaysians see the folly of this, because quite honestly we need more of the younger generation in political leadership in order to relate to the population as a whole. I for one have hunches on where they stand by looking at numbers. 

An article by R.Age back in 2012 believes that by 2015, the average age of marriage in Malaysia would be 33. If this is true, then 28-year-olds nowadays are mostly still single. Sadly, we don’t have an age breakdown in our Salaries and Wages summary by the Department of Statistics. 

However, website puts average salaries for 25-29 year olds in Malaysia for 2016 at RM2,003.

So now we end up looking at which political party policies should benefit and fit the aspirations of a single 28-year old with a 2K salary.

And this is where we stand in the contest of prime minister policies. 

On one side you have a person who believes in freeing the market, ending subsidies, and targeting welfare to the poor and lower middle class. On the other, you have someone who had grand ideas and failures, believes in subsidising everything for everyone. 

On one hand, you have someone who believes in allowing Malaysians to set up their own businesses with multiple funds accessible to them. On the other, you have someone who believes in grooming salarymen. 

On one hand, you have a person who built tolled roads and two national car companies. On the other, the guy who wants to make everyone have access to trains and buses. 

This is the choice put forward now that we know who are the PM candidates. And my sincerest thought? 

Neither of them represents the youths. In fact, the youth leadership of today, are stuck nowhere near the seat of power and proper political representation. – December 8, 2017.

* Hafidz loves to ruffle feathers and believes in the EA Games tag line of challenging everything. Most times, he represents the Devil’s Advocate on multiple issues.

* This is the opinion of the writer or publication and does not necessarily represent the views of The Malaysian Insight. Article may be edited for brevity and clarity.

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  • Spot on...pakatan showed us how much desperate of them to be in power by dealing with mahathir. Its mahathir ffs! Sometime i wonder do they rwally care abt us the rakyat. Without we cannot save malaysia kah?

    Posted 6 years ago by Mangkuk Hayun · Reply

  • Malaysia needs to out grow the old era of Dr M, Dato seri Anwar etc, give younger leaders a chance like Rafizi, Nurul Izzah and the like to lead like other countries such as France...

    Posted 6 years ago by Ss Lee · Reply