[UPDATE: 9/6/2021] Parti Aspirasi Sains SeMalaysia has officially submitted its application form to the Registrar of Societies today and it will be formally known as SAINS instead of PASS. Kenneth shares with us that the change of abbreviation is a requirement to register the party under RoS.
If you’re still clueless as to what this new party is or why it looks so familiar, then go on and continue reading. [END OF UPDATE]
We’re gonna disrupt your scrolling today by bringing you a piece of news that will make you question the things you see, hear and read. But let us assure you beforehand that whatever you’re about to read is 100% real, ok?
There’s a new political party in town and it’s unlike the existing ones… although it may bear some odd resemblance to one specific party.
Introducing Parti Aspirasi Sains SeMalaysia (SAINS), a science-based political party. Since we’re really curious about this new party, we kepoh with its President, Kenneth Chai aka Tek Guru Kenneth (which defo stands for Tech Guru because he teaches STEM) to find out more about it.
So, if you think the logo looked somewhat similar to another party, wait till you hear this.
They have their own newsletter
“It started as a joke. Now jokingly serious.” – Kenneth to CILISOS.
If you’re wondering why on earth is this science party so similar to that other religion-based party, well, that’s because it started off as a meme. Kenneth shares that he was juxtaposing a certain political party for a while.
That was until one of the representatives of that political party approached Kenneth and asked him to stop misusing the party’s name. So, instead of backing down and being submissive to that demand, Kenneth did the next best thing – started his own party.
And what a better way to do that than to name his own party PAS, which defo stands for Parti Ajaran Sains and not the… uhh… y’know which party la, ok?
On top of that, we even discovered that SAINS has a newsletter just like that other party! And the name of the newsletter is… you guessed it… Harakat Daily. The only thing that differentiates Harakat Daily and the other newsletter, aside from that one letter, is that you’ll need to take the content of one of these newsletters with a sense of humour.
Anyways, after Kenneth announced his new party, his tweet started to gain a lot of attention.
“It gained traction, and I created a fake google form. Hundreds of people signed up to be ‘YBs’ for their respective constituencies.” – Kenneth.
You can check out the list of ‘YBs’ in Kenneth’s Twitter thread.
[Update Wakil Kawasan]
— 𝙆 𝙀 𝙉 🪐 (@ruffleseed) May 21, 2021
The next thing Kenneth knows, he and the ‘YBs’ formed chat groups and sessions on apps like Clubhouse and Spaces. At this point, what started as a joke and satire organically grew into something more serious and solid.
Kenneth tells us that people were discussing serious and important issues that concern them at critical times when the country is facing the worst wave of the pandemic during these sessions. And that sparked the idea to take this party to another level by focusing on getting it registered with the Registrar of Societies (RoS).
The first thing Kenneth and his 15 AJKs are doing is opening up prospective members’ registrations for anyone who’s interested to join the party. Although SAINS is a science-based political party, everyone, regardless of their background, is welcome to join the party. Well, that is unless you’re a bot.
“We see diversity as a strength. Many of us in the AJK are not from the science background but are passionate about pushing evidence-based public policies.” – Kenneth.
At the time of writing, Kenneth notes that SAINS received 175 prospective members’ registrations. He says that more than 80% of SAINS’ prospective members are lifetime members while more than half of them are women. What’s even more interesting is that 57% of the prospective members are East Malaysians.
Their first annual meeting will be on 6.9 😏
The meaning of life might be 42 but for SAINS it’s 69. SAINS uses 69 in almost all of its affairs – from its membership fees to the duration for you to get a confirmation email on your registration, and even the date of its first annual meeting!
But its tongue-in-cheek approach didn’t stop there. SAINS has also made several press statements over the past few days on the issues or current policies made by the current govt. And, boi, are they worth reading.
Jokes aside, it’s still important to emphasise how the party is serious at aiming at creating policies based on real data, facts, and evidence.
“PASS will not align to any political party or persons or coalition when evaluating policies. If the evidence points towards the greater long term good for the people, PASS will support it.” – Kenneth.
Some of its #SainsUntukSemua policies that the party has in mind so far are like…
- Guaranteed Monthly Income for B60 Households (Anti-Poverty)
- Raise Minimum Wage to RM1,690 (Human-centered Economy)
- End Environmental Destruction (Sustainable Development)
However, Kenneth also mentions that SAINS doesn’t wanna get ahead of itself on the things it will implement first if they win the upcoming general election. That’s because Kenneth and his AJKs are focusing on getting the party registered with RoS first besides qualifying its prospective members to participate in the upcoming general and state elections.
Ok, we know what some of y’all are thinking – will the party even lePASS RoS or not??
“We believe in our freedom to form associations that are enshrined under the Federal Constitution (Article 10). As Malaysia is one of the world’s most respected democracies, we believe our party will be given the same treatment by the Registrar of Societies (ROS).” – Kenneth.
While waiting for that, SAINS will be conducting its first annual meeting known as the #SimposiumSains on 6th September. So, if you’re intrigued to know more about the party, do head to its website by clicking here.