Youth Parliamentarians Display Their Mettle At Very First Meeting

Last update: 14/01/2015

By Nur Aimidiyana Zuher



KUALA LUMPUR (Bernama) -- The Malaysian Youth Parliament's (PBM or Parlimen Belia Malaysia) maiden outing at the Dewan Rakyat recently is a reflection of the government's readiness to provide opportunities to the youth to participate in the nation-building process.

The two-day meeting, which was held on Jan 10 and 11, served as a good platform for the nation's potential future young leaders to discuss issues and ideas, as well as draft policies, related to the development of the youth and the nation.

The session not only proceeded smoothly but also saw the 133 elected and appointed PBM members fervently displaying their exemplary leadership spirit and qualities.

PBM MAKES HISTORY

Harnessing their slogan "Salam 1Belia" (Greetings 1Youth), PBM members used the meeting as a fitting platform to voice out the aspirations of the Malaysian youth to the authorities.

Datuk Shamsul Anuar Nasarah, speaker for PBM's first meeting, said he considered the establishment of the youth Parliament as creating history because it was the first time the government was making a formal effort to guide the younger generation towards becoming mature leaders.

"Where the nation is concerned, PBM has made history... I'm grateful to the government, especially Dewan Rakyat Speaker Tan Sri Pandikar Amin Mulia, for giving me the confidence to be the Speaker of the (PBM) meeting.

"It has been a good experience for me, which I would not have got at any university. I believe all PBM members had also benefited from the meeting," said the MP for Lenggong.

He said by setting up PBM as an avenue for the youth to voice out their views, the government was giving due recognition to the role played by the youth, as well as their contributions.

"In my evaluation, the standard of debating by the members was good and it showed that they had done their homework before they spoke. In fact, the majority of them were able to deliver their speeches very well.

"I'm confident that the standard and quality of their debates will improve in the next session, based on their capabilities as well as their boldness in asking questions and making interjections," he said.

Shamsul Anuar, who is also National Higher Education Fund Corporation (PTPTN) Chairman, said however, there was room for further improvement as far as the issues were concerned.

"The issues to be debated upon should not be confined to those related to the youth. They can also, perhaps, debate on other topics, like current issues. This will enable the government to gauge the views of the youth on current issues," he said.

MENTOR-MENTEE SYSTEM

He also hoped that the Youth and Sports Ministry would draw up a mechanism to channel all the views expressed during the two-day PBM meeting to the government.

"This is vital if we want the younger generation to have high regard for the youth Parliamentary meeting.

"I also wish to suggest that each PBM member be given the chance to work with an MP so as to gain the real field experience of being an MP - just having the experience of debating in the House is not enough," he said.

His proposal received the thumbs up from MP for Kinabatangan Datuk Bung Mokhtar Radin, who suggested that the PBM members collaborate with the MPs, with the help of the Barisan Nasional Backbenchers Club. He said the MPs could act as mentors to guide their wards into becoming proactive leaders.

"In future, a mentor-mentee system can be created to enable PBM members to attend the Dewan Rakyat sittings and see for themselves how the actual proceedings are carried out... they can also gain more knowledge on the various Parliamentary processes," he said.

PBM NOT WASTEFUL

Shrugging off allegations that the establishment of PBM was a waste of resources, Bung Mokhtar said it was a good avenue for the youth to build leadership qualities and lead the nation towards playing a bigger role in the international arena.

"I believe that PBM is not wasteful as alleged by certain irresponsible people. It's an effort by the government to groom youth leaders to take over the leadership mantle in future.

"This is only the first stage and I can already spot some future leaders from among the youth members (of PBM)," he said.

Bung Mokhtar, who is also Felcra Bhd Chairman, said PBM members were also given the opportunity to enhance their debating skills, look out for adequate topics and points, and analyse issues.

"I could see that they had good control of the debates although the debates were limited to certain issues only. But I've confidence in them as they had put forward good arguments, although there is a lot more for them to learn," he told Bernama after observing the second day of the PBM meeting at the Dewan Rakyat.

The youth Parliament initiative was announced by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak about two years ago to establish a line-up of new young leaders to meet the current and future requirements of the nation.

PBM, one of the six initiatives of the Youth Transformation Laboratory implemented by the Youth and Sports Ministry, is scheduled to meet thrice a year, with the two remaining meetings this year expected to be held in June and September.

PBM has a total of nine committees: Socio-Economic; International Relations and Diplomatic; Security, Law and Integrity; Education and Career; Culture, Sports, Patriotism and Integration; Infrastructure; Development and Environment; Community Development and Health; Technology and Innovation; and Spiritual and Religion.

Speaking to reporters after the PBM meeting, Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin said all the issues raised during the two-day session would be processed and compiled into a report, which would be presented to the Cabinet before being submitted to the relevant ministries for further action.

-- BERNAMA