Other ways to get involved in politics

Don't be scared

Fear is a bad thing in politics. If we're too scared to tackle the hard issues that are prevalent in Malaysian politics, we're not able to act to stop the injustices that result from these issues. As the rakyat, we have the right to have a say in how government is run, no matter which social class, education background or race you belong to. Government has no right to suppress your freedom of speech and assembly required to assert your opinions.


Talk about difficult subjects

In order to highlight the injustices in our system of government, we must first talk about difficult subjects that we tend to steer away from. We always observe these difficult subjects in daily life, but we don't think anything more from it. An example of this is race and racism, and the reasons why the government privileges one race over another as a way to control its people.

You can start talking to family and friends about these subjects. They can offer a perspective on the subject you may have not heard of, or even offer their own experiences to add some context to the discussion. Some tips to get started are:

  • Don't get angry or confrontational. Keep the discussion as rational and truthful as possible. Emotions tend to destroy the points you're trying to make
  • Think about why discussing the subject is so difficult for many people. The reason why a topic is difficult to discuss may also be the cause of injustice, or a loophole which the government exploits to suppress its population
  • Use your experience to inform your conversation. For example, were you racially classified from birth? How did people treat you as a certain race? Do you feel like you have to follow a set of racial norms?
  • Be respectful of everyone's opinion. Although you might disagree with something, it's better to discuss the disagreement rather than throwing chairs across the room
  • Leave the conversation with a solution, or at least a pathway that may lead to one. Simply sighing at the state of things is all well and good, but things can only progress forward if we work to solve the issues that are prevalent in our society

Get involved in collectives and NGOs

Within the last few months, many new organisations have sprouted out to advocate for the rights of marginalised people and to protest the state of politics in our country. It's good to participate in these groups to gain a fuller perspective as to what political alternatives are out there, and to also discuss and advance your political causes.

Some of these groups hold public meetings and reading groups which you may attend. Give them a call, and ask about what their political principles are. See if these principles align to your beliefs, and go to a few of their events to get a sense of whether their actions coincide with their principles. Don't be afraid to ask questions if you find any contradictions or if you don't understand their aims and actions.

These groups may also hold rallies and protests as a show of force for or against something. Consider going to these rallies as you'll get to meet different people to discuss and deepen your perspectives on the issues you have with your government.

Volunteering for community events are also the core of some of these NGOs. They may deal specifically with marginalised groups like the hardcore poor, disaster-affected people, refugees, Orang Asli and LGBTIQ+ people. Volunteering is an excellent way to get to know the struggles of these people, and this adds more depth to your understanding of privilege and subordination in p

Your right to protest and join political groups (and its suppressive limits)

The Malaysian Constitution guarantees the right to free speech, assembly and to join associations (Clause 10). However, the Government may limit these freedoms in the name of "national security". In addition, Parliament may pass law prohibiting the questioning of "any matter, right, status, position, privilege, sovereignty or prerogative" that has been enacted.

Plug - consider joining Malaysian Progressives in Australia

You can still participate in Malaysian politics in Australia. We hold Malaysiaku meetings every fortnight where we discuss Malaysian politics and try to come up with solutions. More details here.

Ask questions

Asking questions is the easiest way to keep anyone in authority accountable - as long as you keep pressing them for answers. You can ask anyone in government, whether it may be an ADUN, MP, a ministry, minister or even the Prime Minister for answers to a question. They are obliged to answer to you as you're their responsibility. They have a duty of care to ensure your questions get answered. Some ways you can ask a question is to:

  • call
  • email
  • send a letter (preferably in Bahasa Malaysia)
  • fax
  • go to a service centre or ministry office
  • attend public events, open days or ceramahs

If the answer is not to your satisfaction, you can ask for clarifications and evidence. This has to be provided to you.

Freedom of Information in Selangor and Penang

The Selangor and Penang governments have your rights to access government information enshrined in law. You can formally ask the government to release content on specific subjects like tender documents and statistics, although there might be limitations to this for national security or commercial sensitivity reasons.

Make stuff

You can express your political opinions through different methods:


Malaysian Progressives in Australia (MPOZ) is a movement of young Malaysians in Australia who strive for open dialogue of political reform in Malaysia