Friday, July 23, 2021

The Syed Saddiq I Know

 The Saddiq I Know

When I got the news on Wednesday night that Saddiq was going to be charged, my heart sank. Never have I felt so strongly about how difficult it is to practice good politics in Malaysia, especially for young and idealistic people like Saddiq. Some of you may have started to doubt his integrity after the charge, so I want to share with you here what I know about this young man.

I first knew about Saddiq from the online news portal that introduced him as an award-winning debater student at International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM) who spoke up against Najib Razak. Then there were rumors that he was joining UMNO as they were actively courting him. Well, I wasn’t surprised, for a talented young Malay with political ambitions, joining UMNO was a natural choice. But he did not. He joined Tun Mahathir as one of the founding members of Bersatu in 2016. I didn’t really get to know him personally until we worked together under Pakatan Harapan Youth in 2017.
After that, he was given an offer to study at Oxford University and full sponsorship for his study there. Once again, I thought that maybe he’d forget about Malaysian politics and grab the chance to go to Oxford University. Oxford University was his dream, I know how it feels for a young man from an ordinary family to get an offer from his dream university, just as how I felt about my offer from Cambridge University many years ago.