Kerk Chee Yee
New Year message for 2018
Some drastic changes to my life took place in 2017 and frankly speaking, that had restrained me from looking back and recalling the unpleasant memories. Nonetheless, as 2018 begins, I feel urged to pen my imagination for the year of hope, change and achievement.
One of the drastic changes that happened to me in 2017 was my venture into politics.
I have been sharing my stories on how politics became important to me in various occasions and I think they will serve as a good introduction today.
Like other kids of my time, I was showered with great care and love by my parents that we did not need to go through hardships their generation did. Academically, I was one of the high achievers in primary and secondary school; I was the among the top 10 students in college; I was offered scholarship to one of the top universities of Australia; I was privileged to spend 3 wonderful years in the world’s most liveable city; and I joined an investment bank right after I graduated.
I belong to the group that some from the elder generations would describe as “the kids that would never understand others’ struggles”.
But they are wrong. I empathise the oppressed and marginalised, sometimes more than the oppressed and marginalised themselves. I despise those who commit or condone injustice. At a very young age, I vow to bring changes for the better and act to improve the lot of others. I believe this was a result of my late father’s influence.
I did not see politics as the only way to bring about a better world (I still don’t). Since I was a student, I spent countless days and nights being involved in activities that I thought would make a difference to people’s life, including clubs and societies in university, forums and events organised by various organisations in Malaysia, business ideas for startups, even a YouTube channel. I also was involved in many organising works and conceptualisation of events during my previous employment that I believed was important in the upkeep of employees’ morale. Sometimes I got so carried away by my own belief that I allowed the sacrifice of my time that is supposedly to be spent on other aspects of my life.
I soon realised what the society needed was not another organisation or another group of enthusiastic men shouting for their dreams and beliefs. What we need is reform, a revolutionary change and a re-shuffle to the current system. It was precisely because of that, my venture into politics came about.
I was particularly upset when I hear friends complain about Malaysia and decide to leave Malaysia. What disappoints me even more is when I see young kids being encouraged by their parents to make migrating to other country a life goal. While I am not in the position to give advice to anyone’s life choice, I constantly remind myself to think of the many who face the consequence of the regime created by the few. The largest crisis we face today is not the oppression of freedom of choice, but the absence of audacity to imagine.
I stepped out of my comfort zone, I did many things that I thought I lack the courage to do, and I embarked on a path that may eventually fulfill the dreams and struggles of many. I know that 2018 will be a year of hope, change, and achievement, not just for myself, but for Malaysians.
My best wishes for everyone. Happy new year! Happy 2018!