‘Appointment of young ministers can bring forward fresh ideas’

KOTA KINABALU: It is hoped that the appointment of two young leaders as ministers in the new federal Cabinet will bring forward-thinking and fresh ideas, said a non-governmental movement.

Undi Sabah coordinator Fiqah Roslan, 27, said it was refreshing to see younger elected representatives holding ministerial portfolios.

She said Datuk Ewon Benedick and Datuk Armizan Ali of Sabah were among the youngest in Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s Cabinet.

“As co-coordinator of a campaign to empower youth through democracy called Undi Sabah, I hope this sets a positive precedent to nurture young talent in preparation for leadership,” she said.

Fiqah said this election showed that new voters were invested in the country’s democracy, thanks to the Undi18 amendment.

“I hope by placing relatively younger people in positions of leadership, it encourages more youth participation to bring about forward-thinking and fresh ideas,” she added. The Sabah state anthem itself calls upon the youth to rise, and I view these appointments as being in line with that,” she said.

With Ewon as Entrepreneur Development and Cooperatives Minister, Fiqah hoped to see more long-term and sustainable support for small and medium enterprises, especially in Sabah.

“This is in terms of incentives, financial assistance via grants, development programmes and capacity-building initiatives,” she said.

She also hopes this would translate into empowering rural and suburban economies so that Sabahans could have a decent livelihood without travelling to urban areas.

Meanwhile, Fiqah feels that the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) continues to cast a shadow as it remains to be seen how this new government will go about it.

“I hope to see Sabahans and Sarawakians reap equal benefits as our peninsula counterparts,” she added.

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