Undi 18 and Malaysia's legacy of youth politics

Netusha Naidu

Modified 24 Jul 2019, 4:43 am

COMMENT | “Wait till you’re 21! Only then you can talk about politics! Now, whatever you say and think does not matter!” my cousin’s husband (at that time) angrily retorted at me. He was upset that I questioned the basis of his loyalty to the Malaysian Indian Congress (MIC).

I was disappointed that I didn’t get to find out how he could possibly make the case that a party so plagued by numerous corruption scandals was the only saving grace for the Malaysian Indian community.

Our argument would come to an uninspiring end because my cousin interjected with “Okay, that’s enough political talk for now!”, seeing how embarrassing it was for her party guests to witness a 30-year-old man, a former political aide, get so riled up by her 18-year-old cousin.

Years down the road, I came to learn that “Wait till you’re 21” was a yardstick to determine the extent to which young Malaysians like myself could play a role in politics and nation-building...

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