KUCHING: Sarawak Youths are said to be happy with the Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) state administration over its handling of state rights, according to a study.
State Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah said this was one of the findings of the Sarawak Youth Index study conducted by the Institute for Youth Research Malaysia (IYRES).
"Sarawak youths are very happy with the present administration. (This is because) they are very passionate about state rights.
"I think that goes across the board. Whether Malay, Chinese or Dayak, Sarawakians are passionate and sensitive about the rights of the state and that is the reason we have been putting emphasis on this, " he said after chairing the Sarawak Youth Development Committee meeting here on Thursday (Aug 8).
The study's findings were among the papers presented at the meeting.
However, Karim was quick to add that the study was not meant to be political but a detailed survey of youth wellbeing, aspirations and interests.
He said the findings would be used to formulate youth policies and programmes.
"Politics was just one small portion of it. The question was whether they were happy with the government of the day and the feedback we got was that they were, " he said.
The study, which was completed in January, surveyed over 13, 000 respondents aged 15 to 30 in all 40 districts in the state.
Sarawak is the third state after Sabah and Johor to have the study done by IYRES, an agency under the federal Youth and Sports Ministry.
Meanwhile, Karim announced that the Sarawak Youth Venture Fund was now open for applications by eligible Sarawakian youths aged between 15 and 40.
He said the fund, announced last Nov 17, aimed to assist talented youths involved in arts and culture to improve their skills and add value to their activities.
"It is meant purely for arts, culture and innovation outside of business and entrepreneurship.
"The funding can be RM5, 000 or any amount that the (processing) committee feels is appropriate to give out, " Karim said.
Application forms are available from the state Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports Ministry.