Author and playwright, Kee Thuan Chye, was at MAJU’s maiden talk. Read his observations and see if they gel with yours.

MAJU is the acronym for Malaysian Action for Justice and Unity. It was launched on 28 August by lawyer, Siti Kasim. The members of its advisory committee are Tajuddin Rasdi, Lim Teck Ghee, Patrick Teoh, Tawfik Ismail and Joe Samad.

MAJU sets out to create a Voice for the People, by having citizens as Supporters. Its founder and advisors intend for it to be the organisation to change the social and political landscape of the country towards a progressive Malaysia. Its site is here. Its first talk was held on 13 November, 2019.)

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Kee Thuan Chye: I’m at the first Maju roadshow being held at Kuala Lumpur and Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall (KLSCAH). 

The crowd is huge, way more than Maju, led by Siti Kasim, expected.

They originally scheduled it for the smaller hall in KLSCAH that can hold up to 250 people. But the response has been so overwhelming that they had to move the venue downstairs to the large hall that takes up to 2,000 people.

Even with the larger space, the place is almost fully packed.

People have reportedly come all the way from outside of KL and Selangor.

However, the majority in the crowd comprises non-Malays and those above the age of 50.

This doesn’t bode so well for the new movement which aims to empower Malaysians.

Siti Kasim announces that Maju’s membership has reached 1,000. One hopes it has substantial Malay support among them; otherwise, it may find it hard to make much headway. Even though, as Siti Kasim declares, Maju aims to be apolitical.

So, those who are hoping for Maju to emerge as the Third Force will have to look elsewhere for that.

Oh, she does talk about Maju influencing the right people to be fielded as election candidates but that sounds up in the air.

She finishes her speech without giving any idea of what concrete plans Maju intends to implement.

Tajudin Rasdi speaks a lot of sense, as usual. But his speech is very short.

His first message to 18-year-olds who will be voting in due course: This is your country. Not Umno’s or PAS’s or Mahathir’s. Very true.

His message to all Malaysians: Any attack on a minority group is an attack on Malaysia.

Siti, in answering a question from the floor, now spells out what Maju is set up to do. It hopes to have a branch in every state to which people could go and seek advice on what to do with their complaints and how to have their voice heard.

Its plan is to build up a membership huge enough to have a huge voice. So that whenever it issues a statement, it will be backed by huge numbers.

“We are a citizens’ force,” says Siti. “We are not a political party. We want to be a group applying pressure on the politicians.”

Hmmmmm …. how do you bring about effective change, establish the right values in society, make Malaysia a progressive nation without being directly political?

All said, I think Siti Kasim deserves admiration and encouragement for what she is setting out to to do with Maju. I totally agree with the principles she espouses, and the things she expressed at the event are what I believe in too. I hope as time goes on, she will find a concrete direction for her movement so that Maju can be a force to reckon with.

I think it would be important for Maju to get strong support from the youths of the country, of all races, and for it to convince them to see themselves as truly Malaysian.

Another thing to address is the issue of religion. One person asked a question from the floor that was very apt; the crux of it related to how moderate Malays in Maju would react to extremist Muslims on issues regarding Islam. How indeed would they?

The road ahead is tough. I wish Maju the very best.

Kee Thuan Chye is the author of The People’s Victory, available in major bookshops in Malaysia.

NB: The video and photos are Kee’s.

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Editor: Have you any suggestions for MAJU to help Malaysia?

 

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  • double tree says:

    What did Maju got to say about the bail out of TH? Since government money is used, it is almost completely from the Chinese. Malay muslim agencies in government and NGOs from private sector must come together and give a joint statement stating their gratitude for the Chinese money to help them acquire a place in heaven. But where is the malay money? Billionaires like DrM’s children and SMB and the several scores of billionaires, multimillionaires and millionaires who call themselves Bumis, have not even donated a single cent to save their TH. Always depending on government money. Not one cent from their pockets. At least donate something everyone will be impressed and may even be moved to tears. But no tears are forthcoming. Only angry faces. Before you insult the chinese again, please remember(not for the first time) how the Chinese always bail out Malays when they are in trouble – starting with Chen Ho who rescued the Sultan of Melaka from the Siamese. But malays have memory problem. By next year all will be forgotten – like they forget the crimes committed by their own malays.

  • double tree says:

    Malays either through the government or not, must start a fund to save their beloved TH. This will give Malays a chance to show their love and loyalty to their beloved TH which was savaged by their own kind. Muslims are so concerned by the practise of “haram” or “halal”, they should be shocked that haram money from kafirs and other pork eaters are contributing to save their beloved TH. What does the sharia law enforcers got to say about this. Is “haram” money safe for TH. But first things first. Just get the filthy rich bumis to take out their money and save TH. This is basic dignity for the bumis. No need to hold congress.

  • Au Yong Soon Kok says:

    You asked… How would moderate Malays in MAJU react to extremist Muslims on issues relating to Islam?
    Keep MAJU apolitical and non religious. After all religion is a personal matter between an individual and his God.
    Keep MAJU as a MALAYSIAN Force.
    Sometimes we just need to keep things simple and focused. No need to over worry of other things

  • Ilias Yusoff says:

    Was it a Malay who savaged TH? I thought a convert!

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