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COMMENT | Umbrellas to fight floods - Muda and its follies

Johan Arif

Published
Modified 11 Jan 2021, 3:35 am

COMMENT | Muda has been a hot topic on social media ever since it was announced by Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman in September 2020. After much fanfare, however, nothing much seems to have been done by Syed Saddiq and his team.

Muda's reason was that its registration as a political party was deliberately delayed by the Registrar of Societies (RoS). In fact, Syed Saddiq had repeatedly aired his grouses over the matter in the past month, culminating in a protest in front of the RoS headquarters in Putrajaya.

The protest was notable for its use of black umbrellas, signalling a visual call-back to "Umbrella Movement" protests in Hong Kong and Thailand. This protest eventually got them nowhere with the announcement that RoS had rejected Muda's application.

Trendy as it may seem, it is also quite reckless for Muda to try and draw comparisons with the Umbrella Movement in Hong Kong and Thailand where umbrellas were used in response to government and police violence experienced by the protestors and in solidarity against their opponents. Ironically, it has not gained much traction beyond the Klang Valley since it was launched in September 2020.

Key to this is a lack of clear messaging on the part of Muda; while Hong Kong protestors aim to remove Chinese interference in their self-governance and the Thai movement seeks to reduce royal influence in policy making – there has been no unified messaging as such from Muda.

So, what is Muda's actual mission?

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