PUTRAJAYA: Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak yesterday announced a RM10 million special allocation for the Youth and Sports Ministry and Malaysian Youth Council (MYC) to intensify youth activities nationwide.
The prime minister said the activities, however, must be in line with the three approaches, namely engagement, participative and empowerment to garner more participation from the country’s youths.
“The Youth and Sports Minister and MYC will help youths, but don’t spoil them, assist them in the proper way. This will enhance the spirit and competitiveness of our youth leaders. They are the mirror of the country’s future,” Najib said in his message to Malaysian youths at the opening of the National Youth Day 2010 celebration at the Putrajaya International Convention Centre, here, yesterday.
Also present was the prime minister’s wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor, Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Ahmad Shabery Cheek and MYC president Mohamed Maliki Mohamed Rapiee.
On the ‘engagement’ approach, Najib said all programmes planned should meet the needs and wants of youths.
“We must listen (to them), but not through the top-to-bottom approach. It might be suitable before but now with engagement, it means we must listen to what’s in the hearts of all youths and translate them into programmes based on their wants.”
On the ‘participative’ approach, the prime minister said youths must be given the opportunity to participate in activities.
On empowerment, he said is was aimed at giving leadership responsibility, power and opportunity to youths to organise various activities of interest to them.
“Hence, by using the EPE (engagement, participative and empowerment) approach, we get complete participation from our youths,” he said.
Najib said youths were a large component of the country’s population, with this year seeing an increase of five per cent in their number, bringing their total number to 11.65 million.
He also said that yesterday’s youths had the capacity to initiate large-scale movement among themselves by using the new media or social networking tools like Facebook.
He disclosed that so far, 200,000 Malaysian youths had registered themselves as his Facebook friends.
Najib said he was impressed with this year’s National Youth Day concept and the overwhelming response to the various programmes, which showed that a lot of creativity and innovativeness had gone into organising them.
He suggested that the celebration be held here again next year with more variety of activities organised.
Najib later presented this year’s National Youth Award to Othman Ahmad in the volunteer category, Irmohizam Ibrahim (leadership), Mohd Kama Kaharmuzakir Kamarudin (entrepreneurship), Ramadan Mohd Taf (agriculture) and Zahra Masoumah Abdul Halim (Malaysia Boleh spirit).
The Tokoh Jasa Belia award went to Datuk Suhaimi Ibrahim in the men’s category for his contribution to youth development, and to Rozana @ Ojane Kamarulzaman in the women’s category.
The Premier Award for Youth Organisations was won by the Teluk Ketapang (Terengganu) Youth Association (MAYC), Felda Chini 3 (Pahang) Youth (Felda Malaysia Youth Council) and Jati Murni Jaya Youth Association, Kulai (Johor).
Each individual winner received RM7,000, a trophy and a certificate of appreciation, while for the youth associations, the top winner received RM10,000, the runner-up RM7,000 and the third placed, RM5,000. — Bernama