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As Malaysia’s Parliament sitting appears to be on standstill with no debates or online alternatives during the pandemic, the youth are taking things into their own hands to prove that a digital parliament can be done.
Parlimen Digital is an initiative by non-governmental organisations Challenger Malaysia, Undi 18, Liga Rakyat Demokratik and United Nations Association Malaysia (UNAM) Youth to show that parliament can be moved online without compromising its function and tradition.
Our hope is that this collaboration will benefit and inspire leaders in ensuring a more efficient, transparent and responsive administration.Parlimen Digital
The youth-led initiative will be hosting a virtual parliamentary sitting on 4th and 5th July to propose recommendations to address the economic and health crises in Malaysia – especially on policy regarding Covid-19 and its impact.
With applications opening on 1st June to Malaysians aged between 15 to 35 years old, it took three weeks for all 222 “Members of Parliament” to be “elected” from nearly 6,300 applicants.
According to Parlimen Digital, there were three main selection criterias:
- Location – difficulty varies based on the number of applicants per constituency
- Quality of answers to the questions listed in the application
- Diversity – some priority is given to minorities such as those from Orang Asli communities and those with special needs (OKU)
Participants must also be able to speak Bahasa Malaysia as the virtual sitting will be conducted in the national language.
With the youth MPs of the virtual “Dewan Rakyat” announced on 20th June, things are off to a promising start with 30% women representation and a majority of participants aged 22-years-old and younger.
Here, you'll find the bell curve for the representatives selected for @ParlimenDigital by their age.— Seah (@euhenseah) June 21, 2020
It's amazing to see the the curve skewing to the left i.e. younger demographics as young as 15. pic.twitter.com/09XtMJQkhE
The youth-led Parlimen Digital will be streamed live for the public to observe and all you need to do is register on their site for access (HERE).
As for the actual Parliament, a full session will resume on 13th July. The official Parliament Malaysia portal states that the session will be held for 25 days, ending on 27th August.
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