Undi18 & An NGO Are Giving M'sian Youths A Chance To Experience Running In An Election

The competition is supported by Undi18 and organised by Architects of Diversity (AOD).

Cover image via Jason Wee (Provided to SAYS) & AOD Malaysia

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Ever wanted to experience what it is like working for a political party that is running in Malaysia's General Election?

This non-governmental organisation (NGO) is offering Malaysians between the ages of 18 and 30 the chance to do so!

Architects of Diversity (AOD) — an NGO that aims to bridge different communities among youths in Malaysia — announced that they are launching a virtual General Election simulation called Hackathon Politik.

Supported by Undi18, the event is designed to be a social experiment-cum-competition that allows participants to reimagine the landscape of political parties in Malaysia.

Participants will be given the chance to plan and execute party manifestos, election campaigns, and political debates.

"Malaysia is trapped in a cycle of identity and personality politics partially because we lack the space to imagine, create, and experiment with new ideas," AOD co-founder Jason Wee said in a statement made available to SAYS.

"We hope that Hackathon Politik can spark a new generation of political and social thought that speaks to all — not just a section — of Malaysia."

AOD co-founder Jason Wee.

Image via Jason Wee (Provided to SAYS)

The hackathon aims to challenge Malaysian youths to bring in new ideas that introduce inclusive policies and political approaches

"Throughout the event, participants will be able to collaborate and critically evaluate their ideas in hopes of fostering a new generation of inclusive political thought," AOD said.

Hackathon Politik will be divided into four phases:

1. Hackathon participants will undergo a four-day workshop to deepen their understanding of Malaysian politics, policy, and social issues.

2. In teams, participants will present and defend their party strategy and manifesto to Malaysian youth leaders in a Dragon's Den event. Parties will be evaluated based on viability, innovative qualities, inclusiveness, and potential impact.

3. Five of the best parties will be selected as finalists for the Hackathon's campaign period. Finalists will create an election campaign and compete in virtual presidential-style debates, where representatives will present and defend their positions on various policy issues such as immigration, education, and socio-economic development.

4. Finalists will compete for the vote of a representative sample of Malaysians, with the winning team successfully garnering the most support from 33 constituencies. Voters in 30 of 33 of these constituencies will be recruited through a survey company to reflect the landscape of Malaysian voters.

Image via AOD Malaysia

Interested participants can register from now until 21 April

Applicants can apply as individuals or as a team of up to five members.

Meanwhile, members of the public can also participate by signing up as a voter for the virtual General Election simulation. The voting date falls on 12 June 2021.

For more information and to register, visit Hackathon Politik's website here.

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