The Global Security News: 1. US Security from Michael_Novakhov (88 sites): Eurasia Review: Are 18 Year-Olds In Malaysia Politically Mature Enough To Vote? – OpEd

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In Malaysia, on July 4, the day of American independence, a proposal was tabled to lower the voting age to 18.

Malaysia
is one of the few countries in the world that has mature voters who are
not able to decide who they want in government. As many as 3.8 million
citizens will be eligible to vote if this is passed. 

They
will join millions of others and participate in this ritual of
Malaysian-styled “guided democracy,” inspired by the Suharto regime.

I am sure we will be hotly debating this matter after the issues surrounding the latest homosexual scandal video affair – or “porno-politics” – have simmered down.

But
what will our 18-year-olds vote for when democracy itself is not
mature? When authoritarianism still reigns, and when schools have not
prepared the young on the basic idea of voting?

When
lewd and gutter politics is the norm, and when politics is about robber
barons fighting for loot? Which political party is the ‘cleanest’? Or
are we only going for numbers for old politics to stay in power? 

Voter maturity

We
should first educate first the young on what sustainable politics look
like. The ages between 18 to 21 ought to be a “gestation period” for
young, potential voters to learn about a third force, to choose what
they want as their political future. 

Politics
is not about replacing one sick hegemony over another. It is about
renewal. Platonic politics, not the porno-politics we are seeing now. 

Watching the way the Americans scrutinise their presidential hopefuls from the Democratic party a few nights ago, I was left with a sense of hopelessness and hopefulness.

Hopelessness
because the Malaysian political culture is a disabling one, with the
vestiges of Mahathirist authoritarianism and brand of bulldoze-politics
still dominating as the anchor to the multitude of post-Umno excesses of
abuse of power and public funds, religious ridiculousness, and
race-based-addiction to policy implementation. 

A
year after the Pakatan Harapan won, politics is the mere rebranding of
old practices, with those in power keeping ways of doing things that
will still be profitable, with promises of promises being kept.

But
I am also hopeful because there is still the chance to educate the
young on what it means to vote and to be a citizen, amid the destruction
made by the elders who do not deserve this respect.

Why the rush? Here are my thoughts and questions concerning the rush to make our voters younger.

Malaysia’s
prime ministerial candidates should undergo public scrutiny, as in the
US primaries. Can we have that system? Our system of ‘transfer of power’
is not sustainable. We must do better than just promising to pass the
baton. 

Why
not have many capable prime ministerial candidates running for the
post? Make the public know where each candidate stands on issues
critical to the progressive evolution of Malaysia as a liberal and
tolerant multicultural society.

Our young cannot be made to vote at 18 if they are to be used and bribed by religious and racist parties. Educate them first. We’d rather have three million 18-year-olds abstain from voting than to be used to prop up yet another authoritarian regime.

Teach our youth to be radical, independent thinkers critical of existing political parties, than to be the new ‘Hitler youths.’ 

Our youths need to be activists of social, educational, ecological issues, not be blind voters at 18, ready to be bought. 

Do
18-year-old Malaysians know about the rights to be a citizen, the
constitution, being participants of democracy? Don’t rush to lower the
voting age. The youth now confused what it means to be a politician, let
alone what those parties stand for. 

Since
the time Dr Mahathir Mohamad became prime minister in the early 1980s,
what have we seen in terms of the check and balances and respect for the
three branches of government? Are we proud enough to teach the young
what sustainable politics means?

In
the US and many advanced countries, primary school children are already
taught about how presidents are chosen. Do we have this educational
culture in Malaysia? 

If
we ask the young of today what they think the qualities of a prime
minister in a multicultural society is, what do you think their answer
would be?

Civics education first

Do
Malaysians want to teach their children that a prime minister can stay
as long as he or she wants to? Voter maturity depends on that of the
country’s population. Democracy should not be for sale. Look what
happened for 60 years. 

What are we seeing in today’s politics that would give us the confidence that our 18-year-olds would be wise enough to choose leaders who will be sane enough not to turn the country upside down, and in turn, damage the future of the young voters who chose them?

Why
rush through the proposal, when what we need to do is for the Education
Ministry and Youth and Sports Ministry, and perhaps the Prime
Minister’s Department, to work together and find ways to revamp our
education on civics and ethics? 

We
ought to prepare our youth to understand not only how to vote and who
to vote for, but also why we vote, by making wise choices. 

This
is a lifelong educational process. Voting is only part of ‘politics’.
The laying of the foundation of political consciousness, the practice of
good citizenship, and to do public service to help fellow men and women
– this is what ‘politics’ is supposed to mean.

I
doubt our 18-year-olds have a sense of this yet. We need to prepare a
strong foundation for democratic participation through education. 

Or
else, we will still see young and old voting because they are being
paid a ringgit or two, given free gifts, or be promised the moon and the
stars for voting in parties that thrive on race and religious bigotry.
Or worse still, the promise of paradise.

Remember
that today’s installed leaders are a result of the choices supposedly
mature voters made. See how much we are in a mess? 

Imagine our 18-year olds deciding. What will they have been taught in schools by then? 

Eurasia Review

1. US Security from Michael_Novakhov (88 sites)

The Global Security News


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The Global Security News: 1. US Security from Michael_Novakhov (88 sites): Eurasia Review: In Afghanistan, We Have Three Dreams – OpEd

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Dear fellow human beings,

Some of us have wondered, “Are people today too disconnected and frantic to calm down, in order to solve global challenges together? Are we so polarized and self-absorbed that we cannot stop judging one another or insisting on our partisan ways?”

In Kabul, our thoughts and feelings are diverse, complicated and flawed, so we centre our three dreams on relationships.

We have felt much joy in creating this video-letter. We dedicate it to planet earth and to everyone in the human family.

We hope that each of us can take tiny actions to free ourselves from the ravages of money and power.

With love from Afghanistan,

Dr Hakim Young and the Afghan Peace Volunteers

In Afghanistan, We Have Three Dreams Video

We’re the Afghan Peace Volunteers in Kabul, and we have three dreams.

Our three dreams are about reuniting with nature and 7.7 billion other human beings!

Our dreams aren’t prescriptions. They’re music and movements, distilled from today’s nightmares.

What we hope to gain is love, not money or political power, because love will be good for all of us!

We will re-boot the operating systems that have programmed us to chase after fake money and power.

After years of rote exams, we have hardly learned anything about becoming finer human beings. So, we have resolved to educate ourselves to question everything, and to love everyone!

We’re like children whose instinct is to become friends. More than being dreamers, we’re do-ers. So, we’re building three earth GENeration dreams, GEN for Green, Equal and Nonviolent.

We dream of Green earth relationships!

We practise permaculture and use solar energy.

Why? We’re part of nature and can’t survive without her. Our Mother Earth isn’t a “thing” for us to utilize or set on fire, but a “being” for us to embrace.

We dream of Equal earth relationships!

We have started worker cooperatives because the world economy isn’t fair for the planet or for 99% of humanity.

Our community is self-governing. We don’t need a Director. All of us are leaders, but we’re not like today’s cash-elected leaders who’re some of the least desirable humans in the world.

We’re growing our web of Borderfree friends, because we’re from the same human family, the same tree of life. We want to be friends with all Afghans, US citizens, Russians, the British, Chinese, Koreans, Pakistanis, Indians, Iranians, Sudanese, Venezuelans and every human being!

Our human genome is 99.9% similar, so we reject racism, exceptionalism, male superiority, moralism and others, because all of these are neither scientific nor kind.

We dream of Nonviolent earth relationships!

We all want peace, but so far, we’ve wanted peace only for our own countries, tribes, political and religious groups. So war has continued, and as a result, I’ve lost my uncle Sakhi, and my close friend Tariq.

We’ve more space in our hearts for love and peace than for war, so we’re training ourselves to be nonviolent mediators. We’ll reason and empathize with our leaders and extremists, and we will reach an agreement without using any physical force!

War starts in our militarized minds, so picture the global war on terror as a smart phone. We think it’s necessary and that it works well. But really?

ome people think that, like a phone, war is necessary, But though war may work, it only works physically for a short while, and only works for a few individuals.

For the rest of us, war costs us everything! It’s time to throw it away!

Killing one another unsettles our human psyche. So, to those who have divided us with trauma, distrust, sorrow and revenge, we say, “We’re breaking free!”

Well, these three dreams are really one dream, because we can’t fix the climate, without fixing inequality or war.

Everyone and everything is related! We just can’t separate ourselves from each other, from the earth, or from you!

Okay, thanks for listening to our dreams. We’ve taken up enough of your screen time. So let’s get off screen, terminate our business as-as-usual, and pursue the authentic relationships all of us long for.

Remember, we make up 64% of the Afghan population below 25. We’re the new Earth GENeration. We’re the music and the movements within you, so we hope to meet you someday!

“Friends… they cherish one another’s hopes. They are kind to one another’s dreams.” Henry David Thoreau

Eurasia Review

1. US Security from Michael_Novakhov (88 sites)

The Global Security News


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The Global Security News: 1. US Security from Michael_Novakhov (88 sites): Stars and Stripes: Companies tepid on new foreign worker system in Japan

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As of the end of June, there had been 320 applications for the new “specified skilled worker” residence status established under the revised Immigration Control and Refugee Recognition Law, which took effect on April 1. Of that number, only 20 applicants had been granted the status.

Stars and Stripes

1. US Security from Michael_Novakhov (88 sites)

The Global Security News


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1. New York and Brooklyn from Michael_Novakhov (111 sites): “Manhattan Beach Brooklyn” – Google News: GRIDLOCK SAM: Get ready for a World Cup win by the US women’s soccer team — and a Manhattan victory parade to – New York Daily News

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GRIDLOCK SAM: Get ready for a World Cup win by the US women’s soccer team — and a Manhattan victory parade to  New York Daily News

I, along with millions of New Yorkers, will be rooting for Team USA in the Womens World Cup Sunday, even though it would trigger gridlock in Lower Manhattan.

“Manhattan Beach Brooklyn” – Google News

1. New York and Brooklyn from Michael_Novakhov (111 sites)


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1. New York and Brooklyn from Michael_Novakhov (111 sites): “Downtown Brooklyn” – Google News: GRIDLOCK SAM: Get ready for a World Cup win by the US women’s soccer team — and a Manhattan victory parade to – New York Daily News

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GRIDLOCK SAM: Get ready for a World Cup win by the US women’s soccer team — and a Manhattan victory parade to  New York Daily News

I, along with millions of New Yorkers, will be rooting for Team USA in the Womens World Cup Sunday, even though it would trigger gridlock in Lower Manhattan.

“Downtown Brooklyn” – Google News

1. New York and Brooklyn from Michael_Novakhov (111 sites)


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Brooklyn Food from Michael_Novakhov (10 sites): “Brooklyn Restaurants” – Google News: Stoned Pizza offers up food infused with weed – News 12 Brooklyn

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Stoned Pizza offers up food infused with weed  News 12 Brooklyn

A Brooklyn restaurant owner is infusing cannabis into pizza and other food.

“Brooklyn Restaurants” – Google News

Brooklyn Food from Michael_Novakhov (10 sites)


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Saved Stories – None: 1. Russia from Michael_Novakhov (116 sites): “Turkey and Russia” – Google News: Russian-led assault in Syria leaves over 500 civilians dead – The Jerusalem Post

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Russian-led assault in Syria leaves over 500 civilians dead  The Jerusalem Post

At least 544 civilians have been killed and over 2,000 people injured since a Russian-led assault on the last rebel bastion in northwestern Syria began two …

“Turkey and Russia” – Google News

1. Russia from Michael_Novakhov (116 sites)

Saved Stories – None


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