KUCHING: Tackling complex issues faced by today’s youth amid growing population, modernisation and cultural changes in the modern society is the first task that newly appointed Youth, Sports and Solidarity Minister Dato Sri Michael Manyin Jawong is looking to address.
He said global issues such as unemployment, lack of moral virtues and cultural understanding, including diminishing respect for the older generation, are among the complex issues that need to be contained as the state progresses into a developed nation.
Manyin believes the government needs to put in place a blue print to help today’s young society adapt to global modernisation while maintaining cultural and moral aspects to keep in check the high values of Asian native societies.
“Youth issues have become more complex and sophisticated. The social growth among the youths today needs to be looked at, otherwise our younger generation will become like those in developed countries, where the youths are only concerned about individualism.
“This needs to be dealt with immediately before things get out of hand. We are trying to revive the family spirit rather than having youths developing individualistic thinking influenced by the western countries. We have to inculcate eastern cultures among our youths,” he told reporters after the handing-over of duties from his predecessor Tan Sri William Mawan Ikom at Bangunan Baitulmakmur here yesterday.
Mawan had served 12 years under the Social Development Ministry before it was renamed as Ministry of Youth and Sports and Solidarity following the appointment of a new state cabinet under Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Adenan Satem. This was not the first time that Manyin had succeeded Mawan, having replaced him as then Minister of Environment and Public Health in July, 2004.
The new state cabinet also saw Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah appointed as Assistant Minister for Youth and Sports, while Rosey Yunus took the role of Assistant Minister for Solidarity. Manyin regarded the appointment of his assistant ministers as a good platform for them to keep abreast with the younger generation and further propel their political career.
Mawan, in his parting speech, described the ministry as interesting and provided many benefits to the people because its policies have high impact on the various strata of society including civil society groups.
“Social challenges increase due to the growing population and foreign influences considering the globalisation we are facing today. To serve the society effectively, you must have the people at heart,” he advised.
Mawan also talked about the need to inculcate great teamwork among ministry personnel to ensure success in its objective to serve the people. Having seen various restructuring exercises over the years, he reminisced how the ministry had evolved, saying at one time, the Social Development Ministry also catered for Women and Family Development as well as Urbanisation portfolios.
Mawan described Manyin as committed and serious while the latter responded by saying that succeeding Mawan would be a big task.