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It’s time to have more young Malaysians leaders

Media statement by MP for Iskandar Puteri, Lim Kit Siang in Kuala Lumpur on 16 December 2020:

It’s time to have more young Malaysians in leadership positions as they have most at stake about the future


The Prime Minister, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin has survived the confidence test with the passage of the 2021 Budget, a most ordinary budget in extraordinary times created by the “one-in-a-century” Covid-19 pandemic, but he has not demonstrated that he was won the confidence of Members of Parliament, Malaysians and the world as illustrated by the Fitch Ratings downgrade on Malaysia’s sovereign credit rating, Malaysia’s overtaking of China today in total cumulative Covid-19 cases and the joint press conference by Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad and Tengku Razaleigh on Monday evening.


This is one of the abnormal situations where Muhyiddin had survived the confidence test but not regained public confidence in his government.


It will be a great error of judgment if Muhyiddin regards the 110-108 passage of the 2021 Budget by the Dewan Rakyat yesterday – and I do not expect any problem in the 2021 Budget passing the Dewan Negara before Christmas – as a resounding vote of confidence which would remove the “backdoor” appellation of his Cabinet and Government.

The Muhyiddin Government is backdoor and illegitimate, as otherwise there would have been no joint media conference by Mahathir and Razaleigh on the eve of the Third Reading budget vote as the possibility that the Muhyiddin government might fall if the 2021 Budget could not pass in the Dewan Rakyat, exists.

The joint Mahathir-Razaleigh press conference was not really meant to the Malaysian public but for the Yang di Pertuan Agong in case the situation arises where a new government has to be formed.

Tun M and Ku Li’s press conference yesterday | Source: Malay Mail

How can there be public confidence in the Muhyiddin Cabinet when today Malaysia will overtake China in cumulative total of Covid-19 cases, when China with 1.4 billion population has 40 times the population of Malaysia?

Malaysia is now ranked No.80 among countries in the world with the most number of Covid-19 cases, with 86,618 cases; while China is ranked No. 79 with 86,758 cases – a difference of 140 cases.

With Malaysia’s new daily Covid-19 infections in four-digit figures, reaching 1,937 cases on Dec. 12 and 2,234 cases on Dec. 10, Malaysia is set to overtake China in total cumulative total of Covid-19 cases today.


Is this grim milestone a cause for confidence in the Muhyiddin Cabinet or the reverse?


This is indeed food for thought for Malaysians.

Be that as it may, the Opposition in Malaysia must focus on the challenges of the next general election, and not on toppling the backdoor and illegitimate Muhyiddin Cabinet and Government.


This is also the time to have more young Malaysians in leadership positions as they have most at stake about the future.


I suggested last month that the Federal and Sabah state governments should set up a task force headed by 18-year-old Veveonah Mosibin to conduct a survey in Sabah to ensure that having to spend 24 hours on a tree top or causing the collapse of suspension bridge in the Sabah interior for youths to get better Internet access for their education would be a thing of the past.

This must have come as a shock to many who asked how can a national task force be entrusted to an 18-year-old girl.

We are in a new era and we must be prepared for new ways to address the nation’s problems.

Last week, one of the nation’s leading news was Jocelyn Yow, the 25-year-old of Malaysian Chinese-Vietnamese descent  from Kedah who is set to become mayor of Eastvale, a town of 55,000 located an hour east of Los Angeles, California.


Malaysia will make world news if 18-year-old Veveonah Mosibin is appointed Chairperson of the Federal-Sabah State Government Task Force to resolve the kinks in Internet access in all the remote kampungs in Sabah interior to facilitate online education during the Covid-19 epidemic.

It will be a triple testimony that Malaysia values the contribution of youths, women and the minorities to resolve national problems, particularly those faced by the young generation of students over online education.


But there was only stony silence from the Federal and Sabah State governments.


Questions may be asked whether an 18-year-old Veveonah is qualified to chair a Federal-State Government task force to address the digital divide in the interior of Sabah.

My answer is, why not? From her pluck, grit and determination even to spend 24 hours on a tree-top to gain better Internet access to sit for an online examination, I have full confidence of her qualification to head such a task force to combat digital poverty in Sabah’s interior. It will be to resolve a problem she herself had to overcome.

Veveonah Mosibin

If 34-year-old Sanna Marin can be Prime Minister of Finland, Jacinda Ardern the New Zealand Prime Minister at the age of 37, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortex the youngest woman elected to the United States Congress at the age of 29, Sebastian Kurz the Chancellor of Austria at the age of 31, Luigi DiMaio the Italian Deputy Prime Minister at the age of 31 and Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman the Malaysian Minister of Youth and Sports at 25, and 25-year-old Jocelyn Yow, formerly from Kedah, can be a mayor in the United United States, I see no reason why 18-year-old Veveonah Mosibin cannot become Chairperson of the Federal-State Government Task Force to address the problem of digital divide in Sabah.

It is time that the millennials (born between the early 1980s and the mid-1990s to early 2000s) be empowered with more trust, responsibility and power as 54 per cent of Malaysia’s population are below 30 years of age and some 70% of the population are below 40 years of age.


Let this be the era of the millennials.


The Muhyiddin Cabinet has no voice for the millennials in Malaysia, for there is no Minister who is below 40 years ago.

There are four Ministers in the Muhyiddin Cabinet who are below 50 years old, respectively 43, 44, 46 and 47 years old – a poor comparison with the Pakatan Harapan Cabinet, which started with a 25-year-old Minister, a 35-year-old Minister and five Ministers who were below 50 years old.

In fact the Pakatan Harapan with a 93-year-old Prime Minister had a Cabinet with younger average age of 55.7 years as compared to the bloated 32-member Muhyiddin Cabinet which had an average age of 57.5 years!

Lim Kit Siang,
MP for Iskandar Puteri.

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