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Thursday, August 26, 2010

Meet Our Participants: Democratic Dissidents

Team Name: 
Democratic Dissidents

Team Members: 

  • Jonathan Yong (Taylor's University)
  • James Benedict Yap (Taylor's University)
  • Sharmen Sekaran (Taylor's University)
  • Choong Wai Keong (Taylor's College)

Why do you want to join MPPC 2011? 
Malaysia has been touted as an exemplar of a modern Islamic democracy and racial harmony, but it has become increasingly hard to overlook the problems which are plaguing our nation, including rampant corruption, a widening rich-poor divide, and lack of faith in key public institutions. To make matters worse, restrictions to freedom of speech and conscience have led to an obstruction in the process of democracy, or what John Rawls calls ‘The exercise of public reason’. Rather than a public dialogue on issues of national interest, our political consciousness has become limited to sex scandals and racial baiting. The general perception that questions of politics and public policy are dirty and irrelevant to our daily lives has led the Malaysian public into a slumber of apathy and resignation. Nevertheless the importance of good governance cannot be disregarded as Malaysia faces a rocky path into the 21th century.
In ‘The Origins of Political Order’, the political scientist Francis Fukuyama writes that ‘Poor countries are poor not because they lack resources, but because they lack effective political institutions’. In order to make our political institutions effective, a national dialogue on issues that concern us all has become increasingly crucial. We hope that by joining MPPC 2011, we will be able to make our contribution towards that dialogue. Our team is made up of a diverse group of individuals which include award winning Model United Nations delegates, national debaters, mooters, political interns, student leaders and activists who share a common belief that the youth need to be involved in the discussion and creation of our public policy. We thank the organizers of MPPC 2011 for the construction of such an unprecedented platform, and we look forward to engaging our peers in a constructive discussion that is badly needed in all levels of society.


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