NE­GRI YOUTH POUR THEIR HEARTS OUT FOR TN50

Feed­back from youth will be in­cluded in TN50 game plan to re­flect youth’s as­pi­ra­tions and dreams

New Straits Times - - Opinion - xydee@me­di­aprima.com.my The writer, a for­mer as­sis­tant news ed­i­tor at ‘Busi­ness Times’, is NST’s Ne­gri Sem­bi­lan bureau chief

EN­THU­SI­ASM abounds among youth when Ne­gri Sem­bi­lan Men­teri Be­sar Datuk Seri Mo­hamad Hasan and Youth and Sports Min­is­ter Khairy Ja­malud­din asked them what they as­pired and hoped for come 2050, at a TN50 road­show re­cently. It was ev­i­dent that the youth, mostly univer­sity stu­dents, were brim­ming with ideas.

A brain­child of Prime Min­is­ter Datuk Seri Na­jib Razak, Trans­for­masi Ne­gara 2050, or TN50, will be the new game plan for the coun­try post-2020 to chart the na­tion’s di­rec­tion in econ­omy, so­cial and en­vi­ron­ment.

The best part about TN50 is that some 600,000 youths will give in­put for poli­cies to be drawn up for TN50. They will share their dreams and as­pi­ra­tions, and the govern­ment will take note of their rec­om­men­da­tions and turn them into fea­si­ble ven­tures.

In­ter­est­ingly, the per­son who is as ex­cited as the youth is Khairy, who has toured the na­tion to get their feed­back.

To­gether with Mo­hamad, Khairy lis­tened ea­gerly and com­piled the pro­pos­als at the TN50 fo­rum at Port Dick­son Polytech­nic, and there were a lot of ideas.

Top­ping the list, and not sur­pris­ingly, are job se­cu­rity, qual­ity of life, unity among races, se­cu­rity, re­duc­ing crime and bet­ter ed­u­ca­tion op­por­tu­ni­ties.

Mo­hamad pro­posed that Ne­gri Sem­bi­lan be­come a “food fac­tory” to meet the de­mand of the ex­pected 10 mil­lion-strong pop­u­la­tion by 2050 in the bur­geon­ing Greater Klang Val­ley.

He said this was im­por­tant as Ne­gri Sem­bi­lan would roll out its eco­nomic zone called Malaysia Vi­sion Val­ley, which would span Port Dick­son, Serem­ban and Ni­lai.

Khairy said this was a per­ti­nent point as Malaysia had a food deficit of RM18 bil­lion, which did not make sense as the coun­try could pro­duce food and rely less on im­ports.

Mo­hamad said 40 per cent of a per­son’s in­come was spent on trans­port, and it was hoped that with an ef­fi­cient trans­port sys­tem in Malaysia Vi­sion Val­ley, Malaysians could save on trans­port ex­penses.

A stu­dent from Is­lamic Sci­ence In­ter­na­tional Univer­sity pro­posed that Malaysia fo­cus on the agri­cul­ture sec­tor rather than try to em­u­late tech­no­log­i­cally-ad­vanced coun­tries, which could be a daunt­ing task.

“Rather than fol­low Sam­sung, Ap­ple or Toy­ota, why can’t Malaysia be­come the world’s No. 1 food pro­ducer, like Nes­tle?

“Af­ter all, we are blessed with nat­u­ral re­sources, and we have world-class com­pa­nies, such as Felda and Sime Darby, which are one of the world’s top palm oil pro­duc­ers.

“Malaysia should build on that rather than pro­duce prod­ucts that are not within our ex­per­tise.”

Steve Yap, from Bukit Gadut, said as part of the coun­try’s en­deav­our to be­come a de­vel­oped and knowl­edge­able na­tion, high­speed broad­band con­nec­tiv­ity should be free na­tion­wide or at a nom­i­nal cost rather than be­come com­modi­ties for big telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions com­pa­nies.

“Ja­pan and South Korea can of­fer al­most free In­ter­net na­tion­wide. This is some­thing that Malaysia should of­fer, too.”

Another stu­dent hoped that ed­u­ca­tion from pri­mary to univer­sity lev­els could be free like in Scan­di­na­vian coun­tries (Den­mark, Nor­way and Swe­den), and for there to be no seg­re­ga­tion among stu­dents in terms of ex­am­i­na­tion re­sults.

“This seg­re­ga­tion is de­mor­al­is­ing and will hin­der na­tion-build­ing ef­forts. The smart stu­dents should as­sist other stu­dents,” Yap said to loud ap­plause.

Some youth want the coun­try to fo­cus on the ba­sics, such as en­sur­ing wa­ter se­cu­rity as many face wa­ter dis­rup­tions dur­ing droughts.

“There is no use try­ing to be­come a de­vel­oped na­tion by 2050 if wa­ter sup­ply is er­ratic.”

Some stu­dents want the coun­try to be­come more in­no­va­tive and meet tech­nol­ogy gi­ants head on as Malaysian youth are as tech­no­log­i­cally savvy and in­no­va­tive as those in other coun­tries and able to pro­duce their own prod­ucts.

There were also those who want Malaysia to ex­cel in sports, es­pe­cially football, so that it could qual­ify for the World Cup fi­nals in 20 years and pro­duce the coun­try’s own Cris­tiano Ron­aldo, who could be an icon to unite the peo­ple.

A worry among youth is the ris­ing price of homes in the state. Mo­hamad as­sured them that by 2050, half of the houses built in Ne­gri Sem­bi­lan would be af­ford­able, with prices rang­ing be­tween RM80,000 and RM250,000.

He said the state govern­ment would en­sure that lo­cal coun­cils built more af­ford­able houses.

This way, the coun­cils could rent out the houses for as low as RM150 a month, which will en­able fam­i­lies to save money and spend on other es­sen­tials.

“The state will lis­ten to all the feed­back from the youth and use it to for­mu­late the TN50 game plan for the bet­ter­ment of the state and coun­try,” Mo­hamad told some 1,000 univer­sity stu­dents at the fo­rum.

A worry among youth is the ris­ing price of homes in the state. Mo­hamad as­sured them that by 2050, half of the houses built in Ne­gri Sem­bi­lan would be af­ford­able, with prices rang­ing be­tween

RM80,000 and RM250,000.

FILE PIC

Ne­gri Sem­bi­lan Men­teri Be­sar Datuk Seri Mo­hamad Hasan and Youth and Sports Min­is­ter Khairy Ja­malud­din with stu­dents at a TN50 road­show in Port Dick­son re­cently. Ne­gri youth want job se­cu­rity, bet­ter qual­ity of life, unity among races, se­cu­rity, less crime and bet­ter ed­u­ca­tion op­por­tu­ni­ties.

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