PM Datuk Seri Najib Razak and DPM Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and other Cabinet members with the Perdana Fellows at Parliament building. - Bernama
Najib calls on Perdana fellows to be unofficial govt spokesmen
KUALA LUMPUR: Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak has called on young Perdana fellows to become unofficial government spokesmen in disseminating information on government programmes and initiatives.
The Prime Minister said the prestigious programme, which was a government initiative to foster strategic engagement with young people, reflected the government's trust in the younger generation.
He said as Perdana fellows were social media savvy, they could help the government reach out to young people to enable them to learn and understand government policies and programmes.
"Use social media to spread the good things done by the government, what is the purpose of a government policy and what is not true.
"A lot of nonsense were posted on social media, and to a certain extent, some people were taken in by it.
"We need you to disseminate the information because you know what's going on in the government.
"Hopefully, you can become unofficial government spokesmen to enable us to foster a more robust and effective engagement and connectivity with young people," he said when presenting 70 Perdana fellows to Cabinet ministers at Parliament House here Monday.
Implemented for the first time this year, he said the Perdana Fellowship was a pertinent method to provide a golden opportunity to young people to get a real-live work experience at a minister's office.
It also provides an opportunity to sharpen the skills of talented young people to prepare them as future leaders as the programme enables the participants to understand government policies, programmes and challenges as outsiders, he added.
"When I got the chance to be a politician, began my career as a Member of Parliament and a member of the administration, then only I realised that making changes are not as easy as what we think from outside.
"But this does not mean that change cannot happen. Change certainly can happen, provided we have the policies, programmes, commitment and political will to make the changes expected," he said.
Perdana fellows comprise local and foreign graduates and students of institutions of higher learning (IPT).
The mentee term placement for fresh graduates is between three months and six months while IPT students, between six weeks and three months.
The programme, which is tailored along the line of the White House Fellows Programme, enables brilliant and talented young Malaysians to gain a first hand experience of how government works.
Meanwhile, Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin said 70 youths were selected out of 600 applicants for the fellowship after a rigorous interview.
They also had to write a 500-word essay on government policies and to make recommendations on ways to improve them, he said, adding that the essay was a tie-breaker in the selection.
He said prior to their placement at the mentor's office, the Perdana fellows attended an orientation session conducted by the Youth and Sports Ministry with the cooperation of the Razak School of Government and the National Institute of Public Administration (Intan) on administration and policymaking. - Bernama