Open Markets and Entrepreneurship

Written by Praba Ganesan
IAF Replication by Praba Ganesan
© Praba Ganesan 

Hi, I’m Praba Ganesan an IAF Alumnus and I will share my story of conducting a replication program “Open Markets and Entrepreneurship” for Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) in Kuala Lumpur. This follows my attendance at the same-titled lecture in Gummersbach in 2019. 35 young members of SriKandi movement (Young Female Caucus) from PKR attended the 2 days programme.

The training was immersive and interactive, because they are the party's future policymakers, with the majority being between the ages of 18 and 26. This given me the opportunity to impart information and sharing on the nature of the open market, in terms of how the market works and the players involved, followed by how policies can be developed to install start-ups and social enterprises from the perspective of young politicians.

The constant complaint in Malaysia when it comes to its politicians is that they are not substantial, when it comes to ideas and policies. The programme was intended to fill some of the gaps present and to seed the thinking inside the minds of young politicians. 

Students in Malaysia schools and also universities are discouraged from participating or speaking about politics. Therefore, when young people join political parties, they are not aware of what it means to have policies. They have a simplistic understanding that elections are about who is more popular and then to be in charge. But they do not see how politicians have to shape policies which can drive their own and party ideology forward. 

In this training programme, both the young and old were indifferent to policies or the need for policies from politicians. This is a huge awareness and capacity gap in Malaysian politics. Training young cadres can shape how they contribute to policy-making when they end up being voted into power.