If you’re a loyal resident of Twitterjaya, you would’ve definitely heard of this newly-formed, science-based political-party that has “Twitter-famous” members in it.
Starting as a satirical counterpoint to tease Islamist party PAS, Parti Aspirasi Sains Malaysia (SAINS) is turning into a bonafide party as it seeks to register with the Registrar of Societies (RoS) today (9 June). While it first started with the abbreviation PASS, it will be registered and formally known as SAINS instead.
The party’s president, Kenneth Chai aka Tek Guru Kenneth shares that the change of abbreviation is a requirement to register it under RoS.
According to Malay Mail, Kenneth explained that the idea for the party came as a parody – its initials share the same letters with PAS at first.
“So I was trolling as a PAS member (being sarcastic) in the beginning, commenting on their political decisions and actions. Then one PAS member DM-ed me to stop using their party name, so I just said alright, I’ll start my own party. My Twitter followers know I always post, criticise and argue about science as I’m a STEM [science, technology, engineering and mathematics] teacher.
“So I started a parody, Parti Ajaran Sains, to troll them,” he said.
As the community grew, they found themselves forming chat groups and organising 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 also told CILISOS that they 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. The talks sparked the idea to take this party to the next level by getting it registered with the Registrar of Societies (RoS).
The committee who are now taking a more serious tone says that the party touts itself as prioritising evidence-based policies backed by science and data. They will also focus on an anti-poverty nation, a human-centred economy and sustainable development.
“The party will be the country’s first science political party where meritocracy is enshrined in its constitution, in tandem with a needs-based and evidence-based approach to policymaking.
“Its mission is to improve equality of opportunities for all Malaysians and push the nation towards the pursuit of knowledge, for the benefit of humanity through continued application of science and reason regardless of ethnicity, gender or religion,” they said in a statement.
SAINS also said that it will not have any gender or youth-based wings or follow the traditional organisational hierarchy, but differentiate itself as a home for Malaysians who have yet to align themselves with any current race, religious, persona or generational based political parties.
“With more than 250 people registered as prospective members, and 15 committee members in the Executive Body, the party hopes to light the tinder of science and reason towards a brighter political future of Malaysia, led by rational political leaders,” they stated.
— Parti Aspirasi Sains Malaysia (SAINS) (@PASSPusat) June 7, 2021
For now, the party will focus on getting approved by the RoS – because it understands that it will be difficult. Bigger parties such as the Malaysian United Democratic Alliance (MUDA) and Parti Pejuang Tanah Air are still struggling with their registrations.
“If you’re tired of the current political standstill, that’s going nowhere. If you’re sick of the discussion about something you can’t change – your skin colour, your gender – be the change with us, and let us light the tinder of science and reason towards a brighter political future of Malaysia, led by rational political leaders.
“And we’d like you to talk to us. Tell us what you think should be done or how things could be done differently,” he said.
The party will host its Scientific Symposium 2021 this September. To find out more about SAINS, click here.