Press Statement By Brolin Nicholsion:
I refer to a statement by the Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri James Masing(DCM) saying that the next gen of Dayak politicians are still too green and lack of experience and don’t have the skills to balance the pushes and pulls of governing a multiracial state especially like Sarawak.
I might agree with some part what Tan Sri DCM mentioned in his statement. The period of youth is characterized by the transition of dependency to independent. The statement by Tan Sri DCM is merely seen the younger generations depending with older and experienced politician.
If the DCM claimed that young politicians still don’t know to master the art of politics, he has 57 years and has been the Ahli Dewan Undangan Sarawak for 6 terms or equivalence to 30 years to groom many young leaders.
During that period, how many youth leader(s) he already invested? How many young leaders he believes is ready to replace him?
The way Tan Sri criticized was maybe because he considers young people as passive objects of adults’ influence but he must see the participation of younger generations in politics as function, mean, tool or mechanism of the society.
The DCM must also not see the youth with “specific age range varies,as youth is not defined chronologically as a stage that can be tied to specific age ranges; nor can its end point be linked to specific activities” (Frolong 2013: 2-3)
While the ‘experienced’ politicians must adapt to the new ‘political art’, they must also know the differences between traditional and modern societies is high level of citizens’ participation in politics and existence of open political system (Huntington 1996).
Therefore, it is time for Tan Sri James Masing and GPS to trust the future of Sarawak in the hands of younger generations as for 57 years is long enough for a government to be a government when there are nothing much have been done in Sarawak, a rich State with poor citizens.
With all the experiences that Tan Sri James Masing and other ‘experienced’ politicians have, Sarawak is still one of the poorest state in Malaysia despite the state filled with many resources with experienced politicians in the office for decades.
In order for young politicians to gain experience is by giving them equal opportunity to be part of the policy making. By then, we should know whether the young politician is capable to be part of the policy making or the opposite.
Quoting Macmillan Dictionary(2013) “Youth is the time of life when one is young, and often means the time between childhood and adulthood. It is also defined as “the appearance, freshness, spirit, etc., characteristics of one who is young”.
Therefore, it is time for Sarawak to continues its journey as a nation with new appearance, freshness, new spirit to have a new Sarawak.
DAP Serian Branch Chairman
Special assistant to YB Chong Chieng Jen