SINGAPORE – The People’s Action Party (PAP) on Sunday (June 12) launched a youth arm of its Malaysian Affairs Bureau (MAB) to enable young members of the community to engage and collaborate with policy makers.
MAB Muda, or MAB Youth, is co-chaired by PAP MPs Nadia Ahmad Samdin and Zhulkarnain Abdul Rahim.
“Malaysian/Muslim youth want to contribute meaningfully to our community and the future of Singapore. Many are interested in social causes and activism, including within the political space,” Ms Nadia said. , MP for Ang Mo Kio GRC.
“MAB Muda is a platform for their voices and lived experiences, and to nurture their common interests. Ultimately, we will act with partners and young people for positive change – we hear them and we are here to them.”
MAB was formed in 1954, the same year that PAP was founded, to pursue policies that address community concerns and advance community interests within Singapore’s multiracial society.
The office overhauled its structure in 2018 to empower activists who wanted to get more involved, and created MAB Muda last year to better engage the community and ensure young people’s concerns are represented and aired.
The PAP also released on Sunday the results of a recent survey it conducted among 162 young Malays/Muslims in early May. The survey asked participants to choose, among other things, the top three challenges they face today.
Housing costs and security was the most popular option, with nearly 20% of respondents choosing it. Next come low pay, also at around 20%, and discrimination, at around 17%.
Furthermore, the study also revealed that young Malays/Muslims felt the need for more active citizenship, with around 25% indicating a desire for more youth presentation.
About the same proportion of them also wanted more political discussions between young people and decision makers.
Alongside the launch of MAB Muda, a panel discussion with Ms Nadia and Mr Zhulkarnain was held at the Working Title Riverside restaurant in Bugis on Sunday.
The two MPs met with representatives of major Malay/Muslim youth organisations, representatives of different industries and PAP activists.
Mr Zhulkarnain, a Chua Chu Kang GRC MP, said the discussion was insightful in identifying issues that resonate deeply with today’s Malay/Muslim youth.
“In our interactions with our young people, there is a sincere and shared desire to come together to do more, not just for the community but for Singapore as a whole,” he said.
“The MAB Muda is a continuation of our efforts to engage more young people from diverse backgrounds in our vibrant Malay/Muslim community in Singapore, and to advance our collective interest towards a better future together.”