KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 9 — DAP veteran Lim Kit Siang today issued another challenge to youth in the country, this time asking them to promote social media literacy.
Continuing his campaign to fight fake news and hate speech, the Iskandar Puteri MP said youth, who he defined as those aged between 16 and 25 years old, must become informed citizens and critical thinkers who could detect lies, half-truths and falsehoods.
“We are in the age of Internet and social media, which are pervasive in everyone’s lives.
“Unfortunately, it has become increasingly difficult for everyone to appropriately address the digital challenges as the new media can present with ease lies, falsehoods, fake news and hate speech with explosive speed,” he said in a statement.
Lim said that the Pakatan Harapan (PH) government has already provided an avenue for youth by lowering the voting age to 18 and the youth must seize the chance in order to prove that they wanted the country to be better.
He also recounted how all the leaders in PH today started young either as politicians and student activists, including himself who became a student union leader at the age of 21, joined DAP at 24 before subsequently becoming an MP at the age of 28 and Parliamentary Opposition leader at 31.
“I refer to these episodes to illustrate that youths do have the ability and energy to ‘shake the world’ if they apply themselves with dedication and commitment to improving the lot of their fellow-citizens, the nation and the world,” he said.
Yesterday, Lim issued two challenges to Malaysian youth, after expressing delight over the quality of debaters who participated in the Parliamentary Debathon 2019 Youth.
He said youth should spearhead a national campaign aimed at cleaning up the Malaysian social media scene of fake news, and secondly, to prove to the world that Malaysia is a successful example of “an alliance of civilisations and not an example of failure from clash of civilisations.”
In the first series of the Parliamentary Debathon 2019 Youth, debaters aged 16 to 25 years old, tackled a topic called “Precariat workers in the gig economy”, where they presented arguments on how best to protect the growing number of freelance and contract-based workers.
The programme was organised by online news portal Malaysiakini’s events arm, KiniEvents, and held in conjunction with its 20th anniversary and Parliament’s 60th anniversary.
Other organising partners include the Education Ministry, Human Resources Ministry, Human Resources Development Fund, Skills Development Fund Corporation and the Malaysia Reform Initiative.