PETALING JAYA: Youth movements who want to criticise or provide feedback to the Government on issues should do so constructively, says Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin.
“Although the youth may not agree with government policies or have a critical view of the Government, at least they can contribute constructively towards the development of the country.
“If they want to contribute to the development of the youth, as minister, I welcome them. But it must done positively,” he said after launching the first children’s special needs gym franchise at Ara Damansara here yesterday.
Khairy was commenting on the setting-up of a youth movement called Demi Malaysia as a counter initiative to the Government’s Malaysian Youth Parliament initiative.
The Demi Malaysia movement aimed to highlight issues such as the devaluation of the ringgit, increasing cost of living and doing business. The movement comprises student activists Adam Adli Abd Halim and Anis Syafiqah Mohd Yusof, among others.
Khairy, who has been entrusted with kickstarting the National Transformation (TN50) vision, said the Prime Minister wanted the youth to be part of the country’s vision and direction.
“That is why the Prime Minister introduced the TN50 programme. It is an effort to include all youths so they can provide their ideas to the Government and create a better future in 30 years to come.
“I do not know the intentions of the Demi Malaysia movement or their aims, but I hope they can continue to provide their views to us,” he added.
On the event, Khairy said the Government had taken multiple approaches to provide equal access to children with autism and special needs in Government schools.
“We discussed the matter a few months back on how to address the issue involving children with autism.
“The matter has been given special attention by the Prime Minister himself, not only through the introduction of the Permata Kurnia centres, but other intervention centres as well,” he said.
Khairy also stressed the need for cooperation from everyone, especially the private sector, to provide financial aid to help the children thrive.
“In terms of costs for early intervention, many parents still cannot afford it.
“We hope the private sector and other NGOs can continue to create awareness on issues faced by children with autism,” he said.
The children’s gym franchise, named We Rock The Spectrum, provides them the opportunity to play with 10 uniquely designed pieces of therapy-based equipment that gives them sensory stimulation and input for improved development. It was created by US-based founder and CEO Dina Kimmel, after her son Gabriel was diagnosed with autism. She opened the first gym in Tarzana, California in 2010.