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The importance of youth in Malaysia

07/07/2015

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As the National Deputy Youth Chief of a political party, I am inclined to write something about our nation’s youth. The value of a country is assessed not by the riches or assets it possesses, but by its people. A nation may be wealthy, but what’s more important than the actual wealth is the collective intellect and intelligence of the people who contributed towards earning that wealth. As we can see from this, wealthy nations can go to ruin if their newer generations are unable to keep pace with their forefathers and drive innovation and growth, and developing nations can boost their welfare with insightful planning and an enthusiastic youth.

Undeniably we have been moving backward be it in education, sports, currency, political maturity, racial understanding and tolerance.

The youth of a nation determine how it shapes up a few years into the future; they are the future of the country, and their actions and inaction both contribute to the state of the nation. In developing and promising countries like Malaysia, the youth of the nation should contribute positively.

Malaysia is proud of the fact that it is a growing nation of diversity but if the country has to be governed properly, it has be done by people who are responsible and who don’t abuse their positions of power for their own betterment instead of helping to better the nation. When the youth of a nation realize the value of good governance, they ensure that they vote for the people who they believe can make a difference to the nation’s prosperity and future. By exercising their franchise and encouraging their peers to do so too, they also prevent their votes from being misused by political parties who wish to win by hook or by crook.

Malaysia is plagued by various social ills like corruption from the lowest to the highest levels. It is not only few isolated cases (an excuse where some leaders are fond of giving) but the main obstacle that deter the country from being mentally progressive. Our youth must believe there is an incentive to succeed with hardwork and honest living.

Politicians and bureaucrats wind so much red tape around simple processes that they complicate them and make it impossible for progress to take place (though we can’t deny improvement exists in some departments which is long overdue). The youth of the country can use their education to battle these problems that plague their country — they can fight corruption, bribes and every other social ill that keeps a nation down and prevents it from progressing at the speed it should. They must recognise the importance of knowledge and togetherness for the good of the country.

Countries develop and become better when more of their youth are educated, and when this education is used for the greater good of the nation. Malaysia is leaping ahead of most neighbouring countries in terms of infrastructure and opportunities, but the basic mindset of the people is yet to change. They still don’t know how to adhere to basic societal propriety like following traffic rules or being punctual or truly patriotic and treating all races equally. They must strive to get people to follow their lead instead of following herd mentality and joining the majority.

If the youth of a country are educated and willing to go the extra mile to effect positive change, a truly developed nation can happen.

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