PUTRAJAYA: The development of the younger generation in all aspects, including in the area of human capital, is a priority of the government, says Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.
The Prime Minister said as the generation that could ensure continuity in the country’s development, the youth should be involved in the policy development process.
Leadership skills, he said, were also among the key competencies that need to be developed in the implementation of youth development programmes.
“Every youth should possess good leadership qualities. At the very least, youths should be able to lead themselves.
“Youths who are capable of leading themselves would not only stay clear of unhealthy activities but also become patriotic citizens who can contribute to society with a keen sense of the social and volunteer service culture,” he said at the presentation of 2020 Perdana Fellows to the Cabinet yesterday.
This year’s programme involved 82 youths, comprising 58 graduates and 24 undergraduates.
About 42% of the participants were from families in the B40 group.
In line with the post-Covid-19 situation, the priority of participation in this year’s programme was given to graduates, who comprised 70% of the participants.
Muhyiddin said Perdana Fellows were like unofficial spokespersons of the government and urged them to be the bridge between the government and youths, especially in presenting facts and government policies in the fight against Covid-19 and efforts to revive the national economy in the post-pandemic era.
He said a fellow, apart from gaining experience as an executive intern, was also responsible for preparing and tabling policy proposal papers related to the ministries they were attached to.
“These policy papers can be used as an input for drawing up new initiatives at the ministry level,” he said, adding that a policy paper based on an idea of a 2019 Perdana Fellows participant had given birth to a biodiesel programme for the transport sector.
The Biodiesel B20 programme, launched in February this year, has boosted the domestic demand for palm oil and would be continued under the new administration, he said.
Muhyiddin advised the ministers involved to train the fellows like their own children, giving them guidance and setting good examples throughout the attachment period which would prove invaluable to the interns.
He said the ministers should be open to suggestions from the trainees and treat their input as part of the process for formulating new policies.
Muhyiddin recalled the year Perdana Fellows was introduced in 2013, saying that all the alumni under his supervision had now joined the private and government sectors, with some having furthered their studies to the PhD level at world leading universities.
Meanwhile, Sim Why Jean, 25, one of four fellows placed under the prime minister, said he would make the best use of his attachment to enhance his knowledge on go5vernment administration.
“We are given the opportunity to be attached to different ministers, so it offers new perspectives in terms of policy management.
“I feel it is helpful not only at the personal level but also for the country’s development in the future,” said Sim, a law graduate from the University of London.
HELP University final-year psychology student Farihin Ufiya Mohd Azeem, 23, who has been assigned to Transport Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong, said she was interested in learning about the development aspect of government policies.
“We have to table a policy at the end of our attachment, and we will also learn about Parliament, learn from officers of the minister on the management of the ministry and the like,” she said.
Roshan Miranda, 24, a fellow under Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein, said he wanted to deepen his knowledge on Malaysia’s foreign relations and the country’s position in world organisations.
“The two other fellows and I want to work together to impart knowledge on diplomatic relations to the younger generation at the university and secondary school levels,” said the final semester law student of Saito University, Petaling Jaya.
The fellows will be assigned to their mentors for six months beginning today.
The programme has trained 533 participants. — Bernama