Youths should take the initiative to be the agent of change for the betterment of the country, said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.
“Change is inevitable and critical. The best thing to do is step up and change,” he said in his opening address at the Youth Action Forum 2013 at PWTC yesterday.
The forum serves as a platform to showcase the work and ideas of youths on how they can play an active role in Malaysia's social and economic activities.
It was organised by MyHarapan with the collaboration of the Higher Education Ministry and the Perfor-mance Management and Delivery Unit (Pemandu).
The Prime Minister said that unlike before, today's youth were more aware and keen to participate in the policy-making process and contribute to the society.
He gave assurance that the Government would remain committed to supporting youths and their aspirations.
“Various projects under the purview of the of transformation programmes are currently and will be spearheaded by youths,” he said.
Najib, who is also Finance Minister, urged all parties, including the private sector and government-linked companies, to support programmes tailored for the youth.
At a press conference later, Najib said the Government's pledging of support for the youth was not mere rhetoric.
Earlier, the Prime Minister met 20 youth leaders selected to take part in a mentoring session to discuss their plans and ideas to improve the standard of living in the country.
1M4Youth CEO Dr Jake Abdullah, who is one of the panellists of the mentoring session, said such programmes showed the Government was sensitive to the needs of the younger generation.
“We facilitate and mentor the youth and show them how to translate their ideas and help pitch them to the Government. We have to accept that they will be our future leaders,” he said.
Student Afiq Suhaimi, 21, said the closed-door meeting with the Prime Minister went smoothly and students managed to provide ideas and feedback on various issues, including introducing Arts in the education system, crime prevention, regional mentoring, improving public transportation and increasing youth's participation in agriculture.