THE event got off to an interesting start when Tan Sri Rafidah Aziz ticked off young latecomers for their tardiness.
“How are we to make Malaysia great if you are late?” said the former International Trade and Industry Minister, in reference to the “Make Malaysia Great Again” theme.
Rafidah, who is also known as the Iron Lady, was the keynote speaker at the What Malaysian Youth Should Know (WMYSK) National Youth Conference.
“To make Malaysia great and even greater, these are the core values that we should hold on to – integrity and trustworthiness, high sense of responsibility, and respect for self and others.
“In order to build a better Malaysia, the youth of today have to understand, accept and respect diversity.
“The greatness of Malaysia depends on the greatness of its people,” she added.
Rafidah urged youths to disassociate leadership from positions or titles, adding that a transformative leader is one who is forward-looking and sets high benchmarks for performance.
Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin officiated at the one-day congress held at Tunku Abdul Rahman University College in Setapak, Kuala Lumpur.
He spoke on investing in sports development for the benefit of future athletes, the MyCorps programme to encourage Malaysian youths to do community work for their poorer neighbours in South-east Asia, and a national discussion that the ministry would initiate to find out the youths’ collective aspirations on what Malaysia will look like when the country turns 100 years old.
CIMB Group Bhd group chief people officer Hamidah Naziadin delivered an engaging presentation on employability and what to expect at job interviews, which had the future job-seekers sitting up and taking notes.
“Know what you want and do your research on the company. Make sure you send a proper CV and job application because that is your first contact with a prospective employer.
“Brush up on your interpersonal skills and be punctual for your interview. It’s better to be over-prepared than under-prepared,” she said.
When asked about the three characteristics she looked for in an interviewee, Hamidah said: “Energy, intelligence and integrity.”
The WMYSK second annual national youth congress was aimed at engaging youths in a meaningful conversation on the challenges they face and to launch a year-long campaign to address challenges discussed in the congress.
It was co-organised by youth development organisations MyPerintis (Pertubuhan Perintis Malaysia) and National Building School.
The event featured speakers who spoke on seven key topics – youth in politics, economics and employability, entrepreneurship, volunteerism, entertainment towards nation-building, national security and terrorism, as well as good governance and integrity.
The other speakers were Asian Strategy and Leadership Institute chief operating officer Ng Yeen Seen, Umno Youth national exco member Shahril Hamdan, entrepreneurs Kaylee Chang and Melvin Tong, Pertiwi Soup Kitchen founder Datin Munirah Hamid, The Incitement Movement co-founder Zikry Kholil, stand-up comedian Harith Iskander, Bukit Aman Special Branch Research and Secretariat Principal Assistant Director Deputy Comm Datuk Rosly Abas, Transparency International Malaysia president Datuk Akhbar Satar, and Centre to Combat Corruption and Cronyism founder Cynthia Gabriel.
The Make Malaysia Great Again campaign, which places emphasis on knowledge-sharing, community efforts and integration/collaboration, will include dialogue sessions, outreach programmes and community service.
In his speech, MyPerintis founder Datuk Lawrence Low thanked the youth society leaders and co-organisers for coming together to move towards making a positive contribution to the country.