Vinod Sekhar Revives Spirit of Malaysiana Muda

Almost 30 years ago, Datuk Vinod Sekhar formed the Malaysiana Muda movement with two other of university students. This was a non-partisan multi-racial organisation and a platform for local youths to express themselves on any topic they were passionate about.

The whole idea of having this platform was to generate ideas that can ultimately be turned into national policies for the benefit of all Malaysians, regardless of race or religion.

And the movement made waves by hosting the first ever morden day open political debate between Democratic Action Party Member of Parliamant, Kua Kia Soong, and National Front Member of Parliament, Datuk Shahir Samad.

But that was not all. It also started the Toy Bank for the less fortunate and founded the Innocent Child Appeal Fund for abused children and another organisation – Pelita Harapan for terminally ill children.

Among its close supporters, Malaysiana Muda counted the country’s first Prime Minister, Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra Al Haj, former Leader of the Opposition, Tan Sri Dr Tan Chee Khoon, former Cabinet Minister, Tan Sri Khir Johari, and Vinod’s own father, Tan Sri Dr BC Sekhar.

Except for Vinod Sekhar and his two university friends, all four of the movement’s strongest supporters have since passed on. Yet their names will forever be entrenched with that of Vinod for the good that the movement did.

Sadly, the winds of change came together with the changing of the guard. The Malaysiana Muda movement took a back seat to the socio-economic and socio-political changes taking place then.

The novel idea of having open dialogue and debates on issues of importance to the country took second place to political rhetoric from young, fiery, politicians who swayed public opinion away from what was important to what the ruling elite wanted.

Enter Vinod today – a little older, but certainly much wiser too. And he is still holding on to those same ideals formed during his university days, to make Malaysia a better country.

And he is reviving the Malaysiana Muda movement due to the growth of racism, politically-motivated racial polarization, and the threat to the very fabric of what makes us all Malaysians.

To be called by its new name, the Malaysia Movement, it will share the same principles as its alter ego. Even its motto and logo will be the same. “Malaysia is degrading in some respects, and it is time we revived intelligent dialogue to stamp the rot,” Vinod Sekhar says.

Let us all, as Malaysians, look forward to the return of not just intelligence in the political arena, but good sense, uprightness, fair play and justice to reign in a better Malaysia.