Singaporean Malay Muslim youths want to engage policymakers for their aspirations, and a greater representation in issues they feel strongly about. They will also actively pursue the changes that they want for their community.
The People’s Action Party’s Malay Affairs Bureau (MAB) revealed these findings at the launch of MAB Muda – a youth movement to take action for the Malay Muslim community in Singapore. Co-chaired by Members of Parliament Nadia Ahmad Samdin and Zhulkarnain Abdul Rahim, MAB Muda provides our Malay Muslim youths with a keen interest in politics to reflect their concerns to policymakers, and create change and co-create solutions for the future.
Since the Party’s inception, MAB has pushed for change and pursued policies that address the evolving needs and concerns of Singapore’s Malay Muslim community. The introduction of MAB Muda today reaffirms the Party’s commitment to engage and partner the next generation of youth for a collective action towards the Singapore they want.
Nadia Ahmad Samdin said, “Malay Muslim youths want to meaningfully contribute to our community and Singapore’s future. Many show interest in social causes and activism, including within the political space. MAB Muda is a platform for their voices and lived experiences, and to nurture their shared interests. Ultimately, we will take action together with partners and youths for positive change – we hear them, and we are here for them.”
The recent surveying of 162 Malay Muslim youths in Singapore aged 35 and below reflected that Malay Muslim youths are attuned to the different issues that deeply affect their community. From the survey,
- Two-in-five responses indicated housing costs and security, and low salary as top challenges facing the community
- 20% of the responses were concerned about discrimination
- More than 90% of the responses did not rank under-employment and access to senior roles in employment as major challenges facing the community
Our Malay Muslim youths also reflected the need for active citizenry for their hopes and aspirations to be heard.
- One-in-four responses indicated a desire for more youth representation
- One-in-four responses wanted more policy discussions between the youth and policymakers
- One-in-six responses would turn to online platforms to convey their perspectives
- Two-in-three respondents were also interested in politics
At a roundtable dialogue held in conjunction with the launch, Nadia and Zhulkarnain, together with representatives from key Malay Muslim youth organisations, individuals representing different industries and Party activists, leveraged these findings to discuss the state of Malay Muslim youths in Singapore. There was robust discussion particularly on how best to prepare our youth for their future in Singapore. This includes raising our youth’s awareness on the different pathways of success, and boldly pursuing them.
Following its launch, MAB Muda will continue its effort to engage our Malay Muslim youth and consolidate ground concerns and proposals for legislative and policy changes in the coming months.
Zhulkarnain Abdul Rahim said, “Today’s discussion was very insightful in identifying the issues that resonate deeply with today’s Malay Muslim youths – and in our interactions with our youth, there is a genuine and common desire to come together to do more, not just for the community but Singapore as a whole. MAB Muda is a continuation of our efforts to involve more youths from various backgrounds in our vibrant Malay Muslim community in Singapore, and to advocate for our collective interest towards a brighter future together.”
About the Malay Affairs Bureau
The Malay Affairs Bureau of the People’s Action Party, or MAB, has been pursuing policies that address the concerns of our Malay Muslim community since its inception in 1954, the year when the Party was formed. These include the passing of the Administration of Muslim Law Act (AMLA) in 1966, setting up the Mosque Building Fund in 1975, forming self-help group Yayasan Mendaki in 1982, and strengthening the Syariah Court.
Under the leadership of Chairman Masagos Zulkifli, MAB continues to actively forge a growing network of activists. Its long-standing engagement with the community has proved to be crucial for the Party in understanding how policies unfold on the ground, and it will continue to evolve to serve the needs of the community.
At the heart of MAB’s future is the tenet on which it was founded: advocating for the community’s interests within the framework of Singapore’s racial and religious harmony.
About MAB Muda
In 2018, the Malay Affairs Bureau of the PAP, or MAB, refined its structure to further empower its diverse pool of activists who wished to be more involved in outreach and engagement efforts. Our Malay youths were also becoming more involved with social issues, responding to the changing domestic and global landscape.
MAB Muda was thus established in 2021, with the aim of looking into new avenues and engagements that would better represent the concerns of today’s youth and develop their aspirations. MAB Muda hopes to be a conduit for youth activism, channeling today’s voices and concerns towards being heard in Parliament, and reaching out to the community on the ground.