My Days on the Political Frontline
Malaysia has experienced unprecedented political upheaval over the past few years, and I never imagined that I would be directly involved in this historic event.
Stepping onto the political frontline
I remember that shortly after graduating in 2012, I worked for a small design company, and occasionally took part-time jobs to improve myself. Through God’s miraculous guidance, I met Yeo Bee Yin and she asked me to design banners, posters, leaflets, etc. for the Democratic Action Party (DAP)’s campaign. Since then, I have come to realise that all of us have a responsibility to our country and that we must do something for this land.
After that, Yeo Bee Yin decided to be a candidate in the state seat of Damansara Utama in Selangor. Her decision showed me that if we want to build a better Malaysia, we must not just talk about it, but also take action. Therefore, I decided to quit my job to become her assistant and embark on a journey of confidence – hoping to convey my vision for the country through design and make a difference for the country!
After working as an assistant for two years, my busy work and life overwhelmed me. So I took a break from the political frontline and went to the UK to study a Masters in social media. After graduation, as it happened to coincide with the 2018 general election, Tony Pua invited me to return to Malaysia and prepare for the battle together at DAP headquarters. After a fierce campaign, Pakatan Harapan successfully became the ruling party!
One day, I happened to meet Hannah Yeoh in parliament when she was appointed Deputy Minister of Women, Family and Community Development. She asked me to work in her department, and I accepted. In those 22 months in the department, I have seen the impact of politics and how it works for the benefit of people on a deeper level. Today, although we have left the government department, I still work in Hannah Yeoh’s office, mainly responsible for social media operations, design, photography and other work.
The greatest learning and gain
Over the last 10 years of my career, I am fortunate to have seen the opposition party become a state government. Pakatan Harapan came to power in 2018, and the Sheraton Move happened in 2020. For me, no political party is perfect, and no coalition is permanent. Therefore, political turmoil and adjustment are inevitable.
For example, for the first time in Malaysia’s history, the rotation of political parties has made the people see the importance of one vote in their hands, and they also know how to distinguish good from evil, and true and false more carefully, and choose leaders who truly serve the people’s welfare. The Sheraton coup left many people feeling lost and frustrated, but a good thing came out of it, and it was the implementation of the Anti-Hopping Law.
Moreover, going into politics also means having no stable future and income. In the past few years, despite my modest income, I am thankful that God’s grace has always been enough for me. I’ve always remembered a quote I heard at my University Christian Fellowship: “Small actions can make a big difference, so be dedicated with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind.”
Now, even if I can’t go to every corner of Malaysia, my designs can be spread everywhere. These seemingly humble designs send a message that encourages people to contribute to changing the country. And before making these designs, I pray that God will inspire me to give Him my best. When I am tired and want to give up, I also try to calm down and remind myself not to forget my original intention.
The responsibility of Malaysian Christians
It is no coincidence that God gave us our identity as Malaysians, and to be born in Malaysia, so it is our duty to cast our votes. Perhaps we are disappointed with the current political situation in our country, but God’s way is higher than ours and His mind is higher than ours (Isaiah 55:9). He must have the best plan regardless of the outcome of the election.
As Christians, we can call on those around us to remember to come out and vote, or to volunteer as a polling and counting agent (PACA). If you have a greater passion for politics, you can also choose to join a party with similar ideals, become a party member or a volunteer, help state legislators or Members of Parliament to plan community events etc.
The world is full of sin, strife and contradiction, and so is the political world. Therefore, we need to always seek God’s wisdom and ask Him to help us distinguish between good and evil, truth and falsehood. May we refuse to go with the flow of different situations, including sensitive issues, and learn to put God first. For example, we can ask ourselves, “If God encountered the same situation or problem, what would He think and do?”
I remain hopeful about Malaysia’s future and believe that God will continue to rule. Pray that every person will break the shackles of racial ideas and be more willing to stay on this land and contribute to our country. Every political leader can serve the people wholeheartedly, uphold judicial fairness, and fight corruption. Let us offer our prayers and strength for Malaysia to build a better home together!
This article was translated from Chinese. Read the original here.
About the Author
Lydia Chan Shi Song is a passionate individual who dreams to live her life to the fullest and contribute her skills to her beloved nation through creativity. She works as Creative Director of MP Hannah Yeoh’s office.
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