Campaign Wrap-Up: The Number of #HumanRightsViolations We Went Through This Year

Campaign Wrap-Up: The Number of #HumanRightsViolations We Went Through This Year

Illustration by Sunita

In 2021, we’ve endured so much as peoples of Malaysia, from the devastation of the ongoing pandemic to the many downs of a government that did not earn the rakyat’s mandate.

We’ve seen how many Malaysians were not sheltered from the ailing economy that was caused by the greed of politicians. We’ve seen how our leaders reacted apathetically when social injustices happened, how our freedom of expression has been restricted and sometimes shut down to maintain the status quo of those in power. Many of us lost hope and confidence in ever having honest and rakyat-worthy leaders for this country we still love and call ‘home’.

But this year, we have also seen how there is strength in unity because when our politicians failed us during the pandemic, we saw Malaysians coming together to help fellow Malaysians, migrant workers, and refugees who were in desperate need of food and other forms of aid. We saw young people standing together to march for the good of the country. We saw more young women and girls gathering their courage and feeling empowered to occupy their rightful space and speak out on injustices despite knowing the verbal abuse and violence they can and do face. For some of us, we have learned and unlearned problematic and internalized values in our struggles for social change.

The change is slow, but we have to remember that the change is happening. We keep the faith and we keep going because we believe in the peoples of Malaysia.

For the doctors, the Orang Asli, the mothers, the youths, the contract workers, the LGBTIQ+ community, the minorities, and the marginalized, we continue to #LAWAN for an inclusive, equal, clean, and free Malaysia.

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