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A New Year, A New Hope

For Immediate Release

31st Disember 2016

A New Year, A New Hope

In a few moments, we will bid farewell to 2016; some of the most challenging months we have witnessed in recent times, be it as children of the nation, or as young citizens of the world at large.

Over the course of the past 12 months, the world has been shaken by tragedy after gruelling tragedy.

Tremors and shifts in the political and social landscape of the Americas have unsettled the noble ambitions of leaders past, as if to signal a regression to less optimistic times; times characterised by oppression. In Europe, the fragmentation of nations and peoples continues to be a source of daily anxiety. After decades of consolidation, pride and political interests have at once upset all that has been achieved between nations.

Conflict and carnage continue to engulf the Middle East. Violence in the name of religion - be it by the left or right, on the offensive or defensive - is still being peddled to the masses as justification for innumerous violations, as if faith were measured in lives taken, and not lives improved, in the name of the Almighty. In all corners of the world this year, millions have known great grief.

Be that as it may, behind the devastation and grief emerge tidings of hope across the continents. In West Africa, the values of human rights have woven their way into the state system. The ozone layer in the Antarctic gradually recovers. Species threatened with extinction have begun to live and thrive anew on different continents. In South Asia, the rule of law rallies upright in the interest of what is just and humane. Cures for diseases and epidemics that have threatened humans for generations have been discovered through faithful research. In East Asia, democracy grows ever more fertile. These are the blessings that the world has bestowed upon us in 2016.

Our nation is no exception. This past year has seen us affected by severe financial scandals and corruption - among the largest recorded episodes in world history. This disaster has tarnished our dignity as citizens, and more grievously, wrought harm on our country. In months past, we have been swept up in tides of contempt and hate-mongering rhetoric that would see us divided. As we rally our strength to mobilise for the sake of the nation, the challenges we have met with have not been few; political aggression, compounded by the detention of our peers, has borne its weight on our movement.

Yet, hope persists for us, too. The voices of our scholars have multiplied in strength and momentum. So, too, has the vigour of our political leaders. Be it that every player in the political field bears each their own interests, the great shift from conflict to collaboration exemplified by players who were once adversaries must be celebrated as a turning point in the movement of political change in the country. Let us not forget the rise of the uncelebrated men and women on the East Coast who have fought tirelessly to defend not only their dignity, but the land they hold sacred.

These episodes bring to mind the sentiments immortalised by Charles Dickens in ‘A Tale of Two Cities’:

"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair."

As we welcome the dawn of the new year, we are left with these questions to consider: are we to simply close the book on all that has come to pass in 2016? Are we capable of facing up to the next 12 months that are upon us?

Taking a cue from what we have endured over the past year, it would come as no surprise if there is anxiety among us. Let it not be said, however, that we, the Malaysian youth, are but pessimists; as Hassan Al Banna once envisioned, we are the youth for whom rest comes secondary to the problems of the people and the country.

We must remain optimistic and live up to the promise of change in 2017. We have endured a challenging 2016, and we will surely survive the challenges of the year to come.

Best wishes for the New Year, and for a new Malaysia.

Issued on behalf of Demi Malaysia Spokesperson:

Adam Adli, Anis Syafiqah , Amir Abd Hadi, Chan Tsu Chong, Rashida Kamal (Representative of Sabah), Simon Siah (Representative of Sarawak), Mia Yusri (Representative of Indigenous People).