Young Professionals or YP traces its origins to the group of 13 dissenting lawyers who on 19 September 2014 attended the EGM of the Bar Council then convened to pass a motion for the abolition of the Sedition Act 1948. Strongly believing in the necessity of the Act and fully aware of its role in protecting the Constitution in particular the fundamental characteristics thereof (or what is called the five pillars) these lawyers spoke but failed to convince others present at the said EGM of the necessity of retaining the Act. Thereafter some of these 13 lawyers, who voted against the resolution, and realising the fact that there was a necessity to explain the Act’s role in helping to preserve our nation’s apex law, founded YP. The goal of YP is to protect, preserve and defend the Federal Constitution with particular emphasis on the five pillars.
The five pillars are as follows:-
- Islam as the religion of Malaysia (Article 3 of the Constitution)
- Citizenship for all races based on the social contract (Part III of the Constitution)
- Malay as the national language (Article 152 of the Constitution)
- Special position of the Malays and other natives (Article 153 of the Constitution)
- Sovereignty and jurisdiction of the Rulers (Article 181 of the Constitution)
The basis for this belief is grounded in the fact that section 3(1)(f) of the Sedition Act 1948 specifically protects four out of five of these pillars and such protections are reinforced by Article 10(4) and Article 63(4) of the Constitution.
YP commenced operations in August 2015 with its principal goals being in relation to the Constitution while expanding on them to include protection and preservation of the closely related concept of the social contract.
Membership is not just confined to lawyers, but also extended to include non-lawyers who are nonetheless professionals and those of a young age. YP also hopes to draw on its additional non-legal expertise to expand its reach into other areas such as public policy, education and national development as well as assist others who agree with our goals in the formulation political, economic as well as social policies that are in support of the Constitution and social contract, and oppose those who hold and articulate viewpoints that do not conform with the same by responding to them intellectually.
YP is an independent, liberal, transparent and democratic civil society organisation consisting of professionals from various backgrounds and represents no particular interest but the common belief of our members in relation to the Constitution, the five pillars and the social contract. The Bar Council, SUHAKAM and the G25 Malaysia are those whom we respond to and engage with from time to time.
Our areas of debate include law, economics, psychology, history, social theory and policy, cultural differences, languages, religion and its role in relation to the state, crime and criminal justice, terrorism and the like.