KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 21 (Bernama) — Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak Friday launched the RM20 million 1Malaysia Youth Fund to develop creativity among the country’s youths.
He said creativity among youths should be encouraged so that they could think creatively and offer sensible ideas for the development of the country.
Speaking when launching the fund, he said, the country’s youths should be innovative and able to use their imaginations to the fullest for the benefit of the society.
“We wouldn’t want to limit their creativity in the context of the country’s development,” he said, adding that by allowing them to be creative, they would be able to offer suggestions which might otherwise be unthinkable previously.
On the fund, he said, it would encourage the younger generation to show leadership at the earliest stage in line with the 1Malaysia vision.
He said that in developing the country, it was important for the youths to take part in it because it was they who would be leading the country later.
The fund, from 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) and mooted by the Barisan Nasional (BN) Youth Lab, would offer a new approach to youth development, by giving them ample rooms to explore ideas, and not a top-down approach, he said.
“I’m still open to ideas on how to get close to the younger generation; and I believe that by showing our appreciation, we will be able to bolster this group of people for the future,” he said.
He said that BN Youth chairman Khairy Jamaluddin would head a panel to consider suggestions before submitting them to him for approval.
Among the suggestions would be those concerning the environment, assistance for the poor and people with disabilities, he said.
Najib said proposals could also include programmes for the creative industry as long as they were within the scope of the fund, which is for youths aged between 15 and 40.
Najib said a reality television programme would be produced to showcase creativity among the youths in collaboration with Media Prima, saying however that it would depend on the recommendations by the panel headed by Khairy.
Meanwhile, in a dialogue session with youths from various non-governmental organisations, Najib said the funding was in the form of grant and not a loan, and that it was also different from existing government funds.
Unlike the funds under the Youth and Sports Ministry or other ministries, the 1Malaysia Youth Fund did not have any pre-determined programmes, he said.
“This is outside the present system,” said Najib, who is also the chairman of the 1MDB board of advisors.
“We will not give a 100 per cent funding; maybe 30 to 40 per cent of the total cost of the projects or programmes,” he said, saying that the fund would start rolling between four to six weeks from now.
Meanwhile, Khairy said, the panel was currently looking into the format of the reality TV programme.
“We want the youths to be aware of the fund and to utilise it,” he told reporters after the launch.
The programme was expected to be aired in April, he said, adding that the panel would scrutinise all applications for funding to ensure they were workable and successful.
“We will carry out interviews with these youths to gauge their level of creativity and comparing it with their proposals,” he said.
Those who want to submit proposals could do so through the website www.1mdb.com.my/danabelia .
Source : Bernama