KUCHING, May 8: Citizen-driven non-government organisation Rose has taken on a new meaning as it is now officially registered as a society with the Registrar of Societies (RoS) under the name ‘Persatuan Pemangkin Daya Masyarakat’ (Rise of Social Efforts).
According to a media release yesterday, the new name reflected the group’s vision of promoting and enabling members and the general public to become informed, active and engaged citizens.
Rose president Ann Teo pointed out, “Democracy requires a lot from each of us as citizens; it requires us to be civically literate.”
This, she said, meant knowing the various institutions of government and how they work, being aware of the issues of the day, understanding how to take action, including political ones, when pursuing a cause and carefully consuming information from the different forms of media.
“We have long been involved in civic and voter education efforts and in the provision of platforms for citizen participation, for example, polling and counting agent training and new voter registration,” she added.
In the time leading up to the 14th General Election (GE14) in May 2018, Teo shared that the group had assisted in the registration of approximately 2,000 new voters annually.
“We also trained about 300 Sarawakians to take part in various parliamentary constituencies as PACAs (polling agents and counting agents),” she said.
She emphasised that the approval by RoS of Persatuan Pemangkin Daya Masyarakat — as a society whose core focus is people empowerment via civic and social education — also takes on another significance in the light of current political discourses shaping Sarawak right now.
“Every Sarawakian needs to read up on our history, think critically and ask the more crucial question of ‘How will taking back state rights or autonomy make Sarawak a better place for us and our future generation?’,” she said.
She pointed out that participation and engagement in the democratic process were key.
“Towards this end, Persatuan Pemangkin Daya Masyarakat looks forward and will certainly play its part,” she said.
“Although we are a non-partisan entity, it is inevitable and we will continue to work with other civil society organisations, political parties and government agencies in achieving our objectives.”
There will be a membership drive and like-minded Malaysians domiciled in Sarawak are encouraged to join ROSE as members.
“We will continue to reach out to the younger demographics, including students at universities and colleges,” she said.
One of the upcoming outreach activities will be a session in collaboration with Akademi Pilihan Raya (APR) on the topic ‘Pendidikan Pengundi’ (Voters Education) targeting students from universities and colleges and will be held from 10am-1pm on June 20 at UCSI Kuching.
Members of the public are also welcome.
For students interested to register for the session, they can contact Rose at 016-8604998.
Persatuan Pemangkin Daya Masyarakat is helmed by ordinary Sarawakians. Its current executive committee is made up of president Ann Teo, vice president Geoffrey Tang, secretary Josephine Voon and treasurer Lillian Phua. Other committee members include Lynn Teo and Phoebe Chong. — DayakDaily