PETALING JAYA: Umno deputy president Mohamad Hasan wants youth to play a bigger role in nation-building, politics and the economy, saying it is time the country breaks away from “old ways”.
“The world is changing and the status quo is just not good enough. For the country to move forward, we need to embrace new ideas and new ways of approaching things like politics and the economy,” the former Negeri Sembilan menteri besar, popularly known as Tok Mat, told FMT recently.
He said the youth have a central role to play and the older generation must be prepared to make way for them.
“The old guard must embrace and help the youth realise these new ideas.”
Mohamad said Malaysia cannot be content with what it has achieved.
He said the next phase of the economy should be based on the experience of global players who have taken the world by storm with their innovative ideas.
He gave the examples of companies such as Gojek, Airbnb, Grab, and OYO.
“The people behind these game-changing companies are all young people who leveraged technology and innovation. We need like-minded people in the government.”
Mohamad said there is hope in the younger generation, citing youth groups such as Parlimen Digital, Challenger and Undi 18.
“Such discourses can generate ideas from the youth, and we need this now more than ever when we are looking to recover from the impact of Covid-19.”
He urged for more funding to government agencies tasked with developing digital initiatives to help youth initiatives.
“It is vital that we have ecosystems for startups and social movements that enable and empower the youth to translate their ideas into actions and programmes that help take us to the next level.
“It is time for people to stop looking at youths as ‘substitutes’ for the older generation, we should look at them as innovative and entrepreneurial individuals who will create wealth.”
Mohamad called for a national-level reskilling and upskilling programme for youths who are unemployed.
“Many were either in or trained for traditional jobs, jobs that are fast disappearing.”
He said such programmes should be paired with investments into job matching platforms connecting the youth to new opportunities not just in Malaysia but overseas.
“We want our youth to be able to grow in the high skilled economy where there is a lot of competition. This will be more rewarding for them and for the country.
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