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INTERVIEW | Four months after Muar MP Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman was expelled from Bersatu for his loyalty to former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad, he declined to join Pejuang and announced a youth-led party instead.

Gathering a line-up of young professionals, activists, start-up founders, religious preachers and academics, he formed a multiracial, policy-driven platform that would eventually be called the Malaysian United Democratic Alliance (Muda).

Contrary to popular belief and despite his high profile, Muda’s inception was not a one-man effort.

According to the party's secretary-general Amira Aisya Abd Aziz, she sent a message to Syed Saddiq a day after the Sheraton Move happened, asking him to start his own party.

The text message read: “Form a new party of young, smart people. I’ll be with you. May Allah bless.”

This led to a discussion among young people from diverse backgrounds, leading to a consensus that it was the right time for a youth-led political party in Malaysia.

So inspired was Amira that she quit her job at the Education Ministry to dedicate her life to her passion for justice.

The 26-year-old...

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