KUALA LUMPUR (Bernama) – Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak yesterday outlined the government ‘6E’ approach to empower the country’s youth.
Speaking at the Malaysian Youth Council (MBM)’s 63rd annual general assembly, he said the 6Es referred to engagement, empowerment, education, entrepreneurship, social entreprise and experience.
He said by widening the platform for the youths to voice their views, the feedback received would be seen as more comprehensive.
“Because of that, we have the Youth Parliament to complement the MBM platform and National Youth Consultation Council. Perhaps in future other platform can be considered.
“Also no less important is the social media that indirectly forms a big vehicle. We summarise this with the desire to have more engagement because today’s youth is different from the young people of before,” said Najib.
Also present were Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin and MBM President Mohamed Maliki Mohamed Rapiee.
Touching on the empowerment aspect, the prime minister said it included giving the youth opportunities in various careers, including representatives in parliament, government administration and state legislative assembly,
For that objective, he welcomed suggestions to amend the definition of youth age from 15 to 40 years to 15 to 30 years as outlined in the National Youth Policy Draft.
He said the Youth and Sports Ministry would also discuss with the Defence Ministry to formulate new curriculum for the National Service Training (PLKN) programme.
“Through PLKN 2.0 later, the youths will be given skills in discipline and patriotism. When they leave PLKN, there will be higher market value. Armed with a strong identity and better leadership values, I believe we can contribute to the nation’s transformation,” he said.
The proposal to review PLKN was made by prime minister when tabling the 2015 Budget last October.
Najib said the expression ‘the government today for young people and youths’ was not merely political rhetoric because the government had actually ‘filled’ it with appropriate attention, consideration and assistance for that group.
Referring to the experience approach, Najib, who is also MBM patron, said the youth must be given the opportunity to have new experiences in various fields in order to become successful leaders in all scopes.
Citing volunteerism as an example, he said youth associations such as MBM needed to be smart in exploring opportunities to be active and forge cooperation with other youth bodies at the regional or international level.
In line with Malaysia’s Asean chairmanship this year, Najib also hoped they could use youth organisations as a platform to instil the Asean spirit among the young generation.
He said the government was also ready to provide additional allocations to any active youth bodies that implemented programmes to benefit the target group.
Hence, he said youth organisations must meet the criteria that would be enforced soon.
“There is rating, key performance indicator (KPI) and evaluation. If you organise many programmes that are beneficial, spend prudently and have integrity, then associations should be given additional allocations so as to become an iconic body among the youth,” he said.
On the education aspect, Najib said it was a vital basis for a knowledge-based economy whereby youths’ talent needed to identified and recognised in order to bring the country to a higher level.
“I was told recently one of our people in Australia with a PhD qualification was offered a permanent resident status without applying for it because that country recognises talent.
“If we want to progress, it is not a question of who or skin colour but talent,” he said.
From the entrepreneurship aspect, Najib said the youths were also being prepared to be able to generate their own income and career compared to working in companies.
“This is the new paradigm that we must have now. If possible we generate our own wealth and add higher value to our country,” he said.
Meanwhile from the social enterprise aspect, he said revenue generated by the country should be channelled back to the youth entrepreneurs so that they could progress and generate more activities.
At the function, the prime minister also presented the ‘Bintang Belia Malaysia’ award to those who had contributed to the national youth development.
Among the recipients were former MBM leaders, including Kuala Selangor Member of Parliament Datuk Irmohizam Ibrahim and Lenggong Member of Parliament Datuk Shamsul Anuar Nasarah.