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WYDE Civic Engagement

Network of Young Decision-makers

Part of Women and Youth in Democracy Initiative

Jo-Anna Sue Henley Rampas

Member of the ruling parties in Malaysia’s Unity Government and PhD student on political science at University Malaysia Sarawak (UNIMAS)

Active Network Member

From: Malaysia

Active since: 2023

Jo-Anna Sue Henley Rampas emerges as a young figure in the political landscape,  especially within Malaysia and Sabah, highlighting youth engagement. Her  educational journey, with Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Law, has paved her  way into significant roles in both the political and academic spheres. As a Graduate  Research Assistant and a PhD candidate, she dedicates her efforts to dissecting the  nuances of democracy with a keen focus on youth participation. Her research  revolves around the transformative UNDI18 legislation, which lowered the voting age  in Malaysia from 21 to 18, underlining her commitment to understanding the youth’s  electoral involvement, particularly in Sarawak and Sabah. This pursuit anchors her  doctoral work at University Malaysia Sarawak (UNIMAS), reflecting her deep  investment in moulding the future political landscape through informed and active  youth participation. 

Her political narrative is further enriched by her tenure as the Political Secretary to  YB Datuk Seri Panglima Haji Shafie Apdal, the former Chief Minister of Sabah, from  2018 to 2020. In this capacity, Jo-Anna not only stood out as one of the youngest  individuals to assume such a position but also gained profound insights into the  intricacies of Sabah’s political environment. Her efforts to engage women and youth  in politics have been pivotal, highlighting her belief in the transformative power of  their participation in shaping political discourse. Through her active involvement with  multiple civil society organisations, she brings to light critical issues such as  corruption, governance, and the underrepresentation of women and youth in politics,  advocating for meaningful policy reforms at both local and national levels. Through  her academic endeavours, she remain contributing to the formulation of local and  national policies, as well as engaging in political discourse with both the government  and opposition parties. 

Moreover, Jo-Anna is an advocate for the rights of Sabahans, as enshrined in the  Malaysian Constitution and the Malaysia Agreement 1963, foundational elements of  the Federation of Malaysia established in 1963. She emphasizes the necessity of  addressing Sabah’s infrastructural and developmental challenges to diminish the  disparities between Sabah, Sarawak, and Peninsular Malaysia. Her advocacy  underscores her commitment to equitable development and the realization of  Sabahans’ rights, demonstrating her broader vision for a balanced and fair Malaysian  federation. 

Outside the political arena, Jo-Anna has demonstrated leadership in community  empowerment through ther newly formed Kiulu Youth Club. (Kelab Kebajikan Anak  Kiulu). This initiative is dedicated to nurturing leadership qualities and fostering  community engagement among the youth in Kiulu, her hometown. By prioritizing  leadership development and community involvement, the club aims to equip young  individuals with the skills and mindset to lead and inspire change locally.  

Jo-Anna’s multifaceted career exemplifies her dedication to promoting democratic  participation among Malaysia’s youth, embodying her aspiration for a dynamic  democracy energized by the proactive engagement of young citizens. Through her  academic research, political engagement, and community-driven initiatives, Jo-Anna  champions the vision of a rejuvenated political landscape in Malaysia and Sabah,  driven by informed and enthusiastic young leaders.

Jo-Anna Sue Henley Rampas Related Activities

From 11/12/2023 to 11/14/2023

Policy Lab Network of Young Decision-Makers 2023- 12 November | “Youth Rethinking Social Development for People and Planet”

The Network of Young Decision-Makers will contribute to the discussions of Club de Madrid’s Annual Policy Dialogue 2023

Date: 06/15/2023

First meeting of the Network of Young Decision-makers

WYDE Civic Engagement Network of Young Decision-Makers brings together a group of exceptional young leaders under 36 years old who are active in politics and in decision-making bodies and who have already reached positions of influence from which they can advocate for greater youth political participation.

From 03/18/2024 to 03/20/2024

Summit for Democracy 2024

Jokate Mwgelo has been the keynote speaker of a panel discussion on March 19th titled “From Success to Inspiration: Youth-led Democracy Initiatives and Their Replicable Impact”