Back in February, Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman announced that he would be leaving for Singapore to complete his studies. This meant that he would not be able to serve his constituents in Muar for the foreseeable future. In an attempt to reduce the backlash and appease the people, he also announced that he would not be taking his monthly salary as an elected representative and would donate it to the people of Muar.
A noble act, indeed. But is it enough? Ever since he set foot in Singapore, he has been posting consistently on his social media accounts of luncheons and meetings with various Singaporean political and corporate figures. One can only wonder what sort of conversations are going on, and if they are relevant to his studies.
It is suspicious, to say the least, that these meetings would take precedence over his studies, as if he were trying to show off that he had the support of these politicians. Of course, this would be pointless as he is not an elected member of the Singapore Parliament.
The bigger question is why does it look like he is on a month-long or maybe even longer holiday? The people have put their hopes and trust in Syed Saddiq, only for him to run off to Singapore and have a gala time. It is very worrying to see an elected representative at such a young age begin to shirk his responsibilities and instead enjoy the trappings of fame and status.
Of course, being an elected representative is nothing glamourous. It is all tough work and despite all the effort, not everyone will be pleased. But surely this is what Syed Saddiq must have understood upon deciding to run for office. Perhaps he is no longer able to take the heat and has no choice but to retreat to a place where he can forget about his duties on the pretext of furthering his studies.
This month, the youth in the country were dealt a severe blow when the Election Commission announced that the implementation of Undi 18 had been delayed to after September 2022. Politicians and activists from all sides came out to speak against the delay. This would have been a fantastic opportunity for Syed Saddiq to propel himself back into the limelight along with Muda.
Instead, he was in Singapore posting about his daily runs and making friends with the otters of Marina Bay. Disappointing, to say the least, that the one person best positioned to fight for Undi 18 was nowhere to be found aside from a meagre social media post is something that will not sit well with the youth.
It is time for other youth to rise up. The youth need a more assertive leader, someone who is more inclined and in-sync with their aspirations. Better yet, it would be a breath of fresh air to see the youth take up more seats in Parliament after the next general election. Forget Syed Saddiq, he is no more than a rehash of the old ways and simply a one-hit wonder.
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