My Story

Ooi Zhi Yi speech
Ooi Zhi Yi cafe

Ooi Zhi Yi


Hello! I am Ooi Zhi Yi, born in Penang, an island in the north of Malaysia.

Growing up in a middle class family; we were taught to study and work hard with many of my relatives growing up to be professionals; working as doctors, engineers, accountants. I was one of the few that took the different path.

Getting involved in the co-curricular activities in secondary school and taking up social science in the local university has exposed me to the society and community. Through participating actively in Red Crescent Society, United Youth Movement of Malaysia, Leo Club and now Lions Club since my younger years, I soon developed a huge responsibility and interest towards the development of the community.  Eventually, I participated in politics by joining Parti Gerakan Rakyat Malaysia in the year 2005.

The opportunity to volunteer in politics since 16 years ago has enabled me to bring myself to the next level, where I have the chance to be involved by assisting the community in many different ways.

When I was appointed as the coordinator, I came to understand more about the problems and issues that the people experienced. Subsequently, I make plans and raise issues to the authorities in hopes of making Malaysia a better place to live in.

Being nominated as the candidate in the 2018 general elections has given me the opportunity to explore further in public policies and public governance. That was when I learnt about how we can use government policies to reduce the problems faced in the community.

Unfortunately, many of our policies have failed to address the problems that arise. Politicians of today regardless of which side of the political spectrum are too focused on personal ambitions and political games and have sacrificed progress and development.

However, in May 2018, I faced defeat in the general elections and accepted the results. Inspired by my campaign team and supporters, I believe that a true campaign should not stop after an election. We should continue on to what we have been advocating for as an election is just a political process that should not deter an honest vision.

I continued to try bringing in new ideas for developments, sustainability and to cultivate a better political culture.

After some time, and witnessing the political maneuvering, I realised that changing the political culture and mindset from within is a difficult path.

The people in there are either too engrossed or stuck with the current political culture or young aspiring politicians are forced to adapt to the old mindset.

The arrival of the pandemic has worsened the situation, or perhaps the politics has worsened our pandemic situation. It has caused even more challenges to the people. That was when I figured that what we need is not only political education, but much more than that, which should be done beyond politics.

Hence, regardless of pushing for a better community, nation or self, I hope to bring together a group of like-minded individuals to work through this.