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Undi18: Malaysian Youth Fight to Lower the Voting Age

On this episode of Southeast Asia Dispatches, Deborah Augustin speaks to Lim Wei Jiet, one of the co-founders of the Malaysian United Democratic Alliance, Malaysia’s first youth-driven political party, about their thoughts on this voting age controversy, the challenges the party has faced in getting registered, and the political climate for young politicians in Malaysia.

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A Future Rooted in Our Forests

On today’s episode of Southeast Asia Dispatches, Deborah Augustin speaks to Shaq Koyok, a contemporary artist from the indigenous Temuan community about his thoughts on the plan to degazette 97% of the Kuala Langat North Forest Reserve in Malaysia, an area that not only has an important role to play in conserving biodiversity, but is also significant to the indigenous communities who rely on it to survive.

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Youth Power in Malaysian Politics

In July 2019, the Malaysian Parliament passed a Constitutional Amendment to lower the voting age from 21 to 18. This amendment means that an estimated 8 million eligible voters will be added to the electoral roll. While many have celebrated the move to lower the voting age, critics have said that Malaysian youth are not ready for the responsibility of voting. On this week’s episode of Southeast Asia Dispatches, Deborah Augustin speaks to Qyira Yusri from Undi18, and Melinda Anne, a student, about their thoughts on youth political participation in Malaysian politics.

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Activist Burnout: Fostering Sustainable Activism

During these uncertain and tumultuous times, activists have gone above and beyond to help the most vulnerable groups in our communities. But what happens when activists start to feel burnt out due to the stress, threats and trauma they face daily?

On this week’s episode of Southeast Asia Dispatches, Membership Engagement Manager, Deborah Augustin speaks to Katrina Jorene Maliamauv from Malaysia and Veronica Iswinahyu in Indonesia about their experiences and the prevalence of burnout in activism spaces. They discuss how it affects an activist’s psycho-social well-being and the role of self-care in creating sustainable activism.

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Unpacking Urban Poverty

In Southeast Asia, poverty is often associated with rural communities. As a result, conversations around urban poverty have largely taken a backseat in public discourse.

On this week’s episode of Southeast Asia Dispatches, Deborah Augustin speaks to Prof. Datuk Dr. Denison Jayasooria, chair of the Asian Solidarity Economy Council and Pete Nicoll from Reach Out Malaysia, an organisation that works with the rural and urban poor. We discuss their experiences in working closely with this community and the misconceptions surrounding this multifaceted subject.

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Citizen of the Earth: A Refugee Speaks Out

During the COVID-19 pandemic, society’s most vulnerable are at risk in several ways. Refugees and migrants in particular, whether documented or undocumented, face challenges such as having inadequate access to healthcare, reduced income and overall increased precarity. It becomes even more complicated when their host countries do not recognise their rights.

On this week’s episode of Southeast Asia Dispatches, membership engagement manager, Deborah Augustin speaks to a journalist, writer and observer about the rise in xenophobia in Malaysia towards migrants and refugees. We’ve kept our guest’s identity anonymous out of concerns for his safety.