Youth unity projects to be handled by relevant ministries

PETALING JAYA: Youth unity programmes under the Youth and Sports Ministry will be handed over to the Unity Ministry and the Islamic Development Malaysia Department (Jakim), said Youth and Sports Minister Hannah Yeoh.

She directed all agencies and departments under the Youth and Sports Ministry to ensure that all programmes by the ministry do not overlap with the jurisdictions or specialisations of other ministries.

“Youth Unity Programmes such as the Article 11 programme must be handed over to be implemented by the National Unity Ministry and Jakim,” Yeoh said in a government circular dated March 15.

Yeoh was responding to a question whether the Jom Ziarah programmes, which involved visits by youths to places of worship, were cancelled.

In the said circular, it was stated that Yeoh had decided that all existing programmes or any other programme in the planning must be coordinated and handed over to other relevant ministries or agencies that is an authority in that field.

“For example, Youth Entrepreneurship Programmes must be handed over to the Entrepreneur and Cooperative Development Ministry. Youth Unity Programmes such as Article 11 must be handed over to the National Unity Ministry and Jakim,” stated the circular signed by Yeoh.

The directive also said that the lists of programmes under her ministry, which will be handed over to other ministries, will be finalised in a meeting chaired by the secretary-general of the Youth and Sports Ministry soon.

Earlier yesterday, Impact Malaysia, an agency under the Youth and Sports Ministry, stated that all future visits to houses of worship under the Jom Ziarah programme were cancelled following a ministry directive.

A group of youths were supposed to have visited a church in Klang yesterday under the programme which was designed by Impact Malaysia to promote interfaith understanding and harmony.

The Article 11 programme was named after the Article 11 of the Federal Constitution, which guarantees freedom of religion.

However, it received flak from certain groups which said the programme could lead to possible propagation of other religions to Muslim youths.

Earlier this week, Yeoh had clarified in Parliament that no Muslims had been registered as participants in the Jom Ziarah tours.

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