Yesterday (Monday, 28th December), Syed Saddiq got up close and personal in a special one-to-one interview with Alicia Amin for Wild Ginger on their YouTube channel.
During the 10-minute long session, the duo discussed on mental health, bullying, Namewee’s most recent hot issue and more. Here are 4 things we got from the interview:
- Acknowledging mental health as a health issue.
“A lot of Malaysians still think that mental health is a made-up issue,” Syed Saddiq told Alicia. “If you go to a clinic and you have a depression, anxiety and so on, you’ll never get an MC. Instead, you’ll often be overlooked and at times, ridiculed.”
Not wanting the stigma to continue, he then added, “We have to break the taboo, and for us to do so, there must be that transparent, open national conversation and discourse on mental health. And a lot of people must start sharing their story.”
2. Handling criticisms and attack online.
Syed Saddiq responded, “(As a political figure) It’s a job which requires me to be open and susceptible to public criticism. Obviously, some are slightly overboard, nothing to do with the issues.” Alicia then chimed in, “Some are just really mean, I understand that.”
He then continued, “If I’m very much concerned and affected negatively, I think that’s exactly what they want, right? To take me down, or at the same time, to ensure that I cannot focus on actual issues; real world issues. I mean, for those who have given constructive criticisms, I will take it, and I will try my best to improve myself.”
When asked about what does he feel about getting constantly bullied during parliamentary sessions, Syed Saddiq said that he doesn’t want others to get demotivated just by seeing what took place in parliament. “For example, if other young people see, ‘Ah, if this is how they treat young parliamentarians, I don’t think there’s a future for me in politics. I don’t want them to think that. So, that’s where I think, dealing with it with compassion and also speaking up against the issue,” he said.
3. Urging the young people to cakap balik (talk back) to older generations with respect.
According to him, “Firstly, I think there is this overarching Asian culture, where you must be subservient to your older generation. That’s why often when we were young, we’re instructed not to ask a lot of questions and challenge the authority. I disagree with the saying, ‘Jangan cakap balik (Don’t talk back).’ You can talk back, but with respect. That’s it. You must ask, you must question, you must criticise. If not, really, I think that pushes us back”
“The second part behind it is, I think in general, the older generation still thinks that younger people don’t have a lot of experience. Because of that, they are perceived as subpar, suboptimal and we are in a much better position. However, I think that the culture will change one way or another. Especially when there are a lot more young people defying the odds. This shows that one’s youthfulness is not a liability, but an asset. We are creative thinkers, we’re innovative. That’s when we can change hearts and minds of people,” he told the outspoken fashion model.
4. Addressing Namewee’s “Babi” movie ban controversy
Syed Saddiq explained, “This is where when we restrict creative expression, freedom of expression. The way in which they want to depict a social problem, but in a very unique way of attracting attention so that it can be solved. But often, it’s misunderstood.”
He added, “When it comes from an institutional body, namely Seniman. which is supposed to protect the interest of artists and the Malaysian creative industry. But instead, they are the ones who want to suppress it. (In this case) We can disagree with it, we can argue against it. We can criticise it.”
“Like when a police report is lodged, and to say that if he comes back, he will be a criminal. I think that is truly unthinkable. This just shows, again, young people have that very passionate and diverse energy. Instead of suppressing it, why don’t you address it? Deal with it and try to harness it in a positive way,” the politician added.
“And I think if we do that, we would be able to partially also deal with brain drain. There’s obviously many other reasons why, but I think we can at least start by listening to them and taking them seriously,” he further suggested.
For those interested, feel free to watch the full chat here:
Source: Wild Ginger’s YouTube.