KUALA LUMPUR: The 1Malaysia Youth Fund has been launched to provide financial grant for youths to undertake creative projects to nurture unity.
The RM20mil fund, announced under the Budget last year, had been mooted by the Barisan Nasional Youth Lab.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, who launched the fund yesterday, said it reflected the Government’s commitment towards empowering youths.
“We believe in the youth. This is not just a slogan or political rhetoric.
“We are translating it with the introduction of this fund so that youths can really feel that the Government understands them,” he said during the launch here.
“We appreciate and will empower youths for the future.”
Also present were Barisan Youth chairman and Umno Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin and MCA Youth chief Datuk Dr Wee Ka Siong.
Najib said the fund was unconventional in its approach as it was flexible without the usual rigid guidelines for proposal.
He said it was to encourage youths to freely express ideas and creativity through their projects.
“The scope and the projects should address three criteria – focus on nurturing unity in Malaysia, have a multiplier effect on the general community, and be led by young people.
“The objective is to encourage youths to use their imagination to the fullest. We want them to be creative and innovative. Maybe their ability may exceed our expectations and maybe they can do something which has not been thought of by us,” he said.
Najib said he expected the first batch of the grant to be issued within the next four to six weeks.
He said youths with exceptional proposals would be invited to participate in a reality TV show to present their ideas and convince the panel for bigger grants.
He also announced Khairy as the head of the funds evaluation panel which would, among others, comprise Dr Wee and four other deputy ministers, including Deputy Youth and Sports Ministers Datuk Razali Ibrahim and Gan Ping Sieu.
Source : The Star