Being A Young Political Activist İn Contemporary Malaysia: Motivations And Challenges
There is a dearth of empirical studies on young political activist in Malaysia, specifically on how and why they get involved in political activism, and in relation to the rich literature that has developed in Western democracies. By applying Klandermans’s framework of ‘Demand and Supply of Participation’ framework, together with the data collected primarily from interviews with youth political activists, this study examines the engagement of youth activists who were actively involved in political activities including social movements, protests and civil society in Malaysia. This includes their motivations to get involved and the challenges they faced as political activists. The findings showed that most of the activists interviewed started to actively participate in political activism at university, as student activists. Even though most of them have graduated, they still carry on their activism. To some extent, their motivations to political activism in Malaysia are significantly driven by a strong belief that their participation could bring about change, a sense of collective identity and strong attachment to specific groups and aided by the strong influence of social networking.