Saturday, February 29

Index on well-being of Sarawak youths to be launched next month

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Abdul Karim speaking to reporters at the DUN Media Centre in this file photo.

KUCHING: The ‘Sarawak Youth Index’, which measures the quality and social well-being of youths in the state, will be launched at the state-level Youth Day celebration in Miri next month.

Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah said the index was based on the Institute of Youth Research Malaysia (IYRES) survey last year Involving a sample of 13,437 youths state-wide in 31 districts.

The findings, recommendations and proposals from the index will be used as inputs and indicators for the state government to formulate the state youth development road map, strategic thrust, policies and programmes, he said in his winding up speech in the State Legislative Assembly today.

“Our youths are the country’s more precious asset and they are also the potential future leaders, partners and prime movers of nation building,” said Abdul Karim.

The state-level Youth Day celebration will be held on Dec 6 and 7 at Miri Indoor Stadium with more than 5,000 youths are expecting to participate in the event.

Among the highlights of the event are the Youth Icon Awards, Creativity and Innovation Exhibition, Youth Kitchen, cultural shows, auto show, drone race, Beyblades and Sky Runners.

With the split of the ministry into the Ministry of Youth and Sports and Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture during a cabinet restructuring in August, Abdul Karim said both ministries can be better focus on their respective functions and roles.

“For the Ministry of Youth and Sports, these changes has brought a more inclusive, comprehensive and effective development on the youth aspect in the state,” he said.

Presently, Abdul Karim said Sarawak has a population of 2.8 million, of which 43 per cent or 1.2 million consists of youth.

He said that his ministry will also address issues of social ills among youths, such as cyber-bullying, vandalism and negative social media influence by organising a series of youth programmes in the urban and rural areas.

“Recently, we are saddened by suicide cases involving youths who suffered from mental health issues that had led to manic depression.”

As a result, Abdul Karim said his ministry will organise a series of youth programmes and enhance strategic collaborations with various government agencies and non-governmental organisations, such as Youth and Sports Department, Royal Malaysian Police, Sarawak National Anti-Drug Agency and Sarawak United National Youth Organisation (Saberkas).

Abdul Karim also said the establishment of Sarawak Youth Development Committee was timely given the challenges faced by youths today.

He said the committee, which is expected to have its first lab next year on youth development initiative, will conduct a study and submit proposals to the state government regarding the existing approach in youth programme.