Sunday, December 24, 2017

API Rekindles

The Malaysian Insight pic by Nazir Sufari, December 23, 2017. 

Young Malaysians clad in white marched through Kuala Lumpur to commemorate the 71st anniversary of Angkatan Pemuda Insaf, a pre-independence political movement. 

Even though it was a small crowd, the mood of the rally was festive, with songs such as Panas atau Hujan, Darah Rakyat, Ale-Ale and Buruh Tani being sung throughout the event. 

There were also poem recitals, speeches and even a six-minute sketch, featuring an antagonistic character wearing a clown mask, that was performed to highlight issues affecting today’s youth, such as unemployment, affordable housing and student loans. 

Many of the participants carried placards and banners bearing messages denouncing corruption. “People unite against corrupt regime, Negara Sakit Wanita Bangkit", read one placard; "Malaysia Muda Dalam Api, Politik Tua Tolong ke Tepi" read another. 

And a speech by former API member Cikgu Ishak Surin was one of the highlights of the rally. The 85-year-old rallied the crowd with the chant, "Merdeka dengan Darah", in reference to the objectives of API's establishment. 

“API's aim was to free our country from any form of colonization. We wanted a true democracy”, Cikgu Ishak said. 

“Today’s youth should not only commemorate the struggles but continue them and, in today’s context, it is their duty to fight against the current government”, Cikgu Ishak said, while also recounting sacrifices made by API founder Ahmad Boestamam, such as being jailed for seven years when he was Setapak MP. 

[Note: API, a leftist radical youth movement,was established in Ipoh, Perak, in 1946 and lasted 518 days before the British declared the movement illegal on June 30, 1947]. 

Spokesperson Amir Hadi said the reason they were wearing the same colors as API members of yesteryear was to invoke the spirit the group once had. 

“Before API’s first congress was held, they held a march and wore white shirts and red armbands and that’s what we did today, to commemorate the historic event”, he said. 

It ended with a mandi bunga ritual as a symbolic gesture signifying the need to cleanse Malaysia from those who seek to destroy it. 

It is heartening to note that young Malaysians are waking up to shout-out against the corrupted government. 

Please watch this video:

The message is simple. Don’t be too quick to judge.

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