PORT DICKSON: The Malaysian Youth Council (MBM) will receive a RM5mil annual allocation from this year, says Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.
The Prime Minister said the allocation is to enable the body to carry out programmes and to cover administrative costs.
"Since MBM has given its commitment to support the Malaysia Madani concept, I hereby announce a RM5mil annual allocation to the body," said Anwar.
He added that MBM is special as its affiliates come from all regions, associations, sectors, rural and urban areas, races and religions.
"Despite this, MBM has remained strong and united and has shown a commitment to support national unity," he said at the launch of the National Youth Day here.
Anwar, who was the MBM president when he was 24, said he had learned a lot when he was in youth organisations.
He said it was during his time that the MBM had asked the government under the leadership of Tun Abdul Razak to set up the Malaysian Youth Consultative Council under the then Culture, Youth and Sports Ministry and to mark May 15 as Hari Belia.
"I made many friends from many organisations who have remained close till this day.
"Through our association in MBM, we have learned from one another and have remained respectful despite our differences (religion and race), as we are all God's creations," he said.
Anwar said his government is prepared to consider views of the youth and even implement them if these are suitable and workable.
He reminded the youth not to allow themselves to be manipulated.
"You may be young but you should never allow yourself to be used by others who are older, including politicians.
"You can criticise and have differences of opinion but never be a macai (lackey) for others," he said, adding that some people were bent on using race or religion to create problems.
Anwar said the youth should also discuss and share their views on other important matters such as the national debt which stood at RM1.5 trillion.
"Who is going to pay this debt? Why isn't MBM asking these questions?
"If the monies had only been used to open industrial estates, build roads, it is alright.
"Sadly, this is not the case as some of it was stolen including from flood mitigation projects, Jana Wibawa programme and even electricity (projects related to power supply)," he said, adding that his government was also prepared to discuss issues deemed sensitive with the MBM should the need arise.
He also asked the MBM to submit a report within a month of its plans to increase youth involvement in its activities.
"I would also like to know how you are going to get more women involved at all levels including leadership.
"Apart from organising more programmes related to the economy and other aspects such as training and welfare, you should also know that the youth have an important role to play in saving this country," he said.
Also present were Negri Sembilan Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Aminuddin Harun, Youth and Sports Minister Hannah Yeoh and MBM president Mohd Izzat Afifi Abdul Hamid.
Anwar also commended the MBM for taking the lead in organising this year's celebration with the Youth and Sports Ministry and the Negri Sembilan government.
"If Cabinet is agreeable, we may allow other groups such as teachers or workers to organise their special day in future as well," he added.