Kota Kinabalu – After Putrajaya rolled out the Malaysia Youth Index 2015, Sabah is looking to follow suit with a state specific benchmark for its youngsters.
Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman who made the announcement today said the Sabah Youth Index will help his administration tailor programmes that will better reach the state‟s youth demographic group for their development and nation-building efforts.
“It‟s vital that we give due attention to the youth where they need it, and the index will be pivotal in providing a reference to our direction. “We are happy to be the first state to do it. We have discussed this at the Cabinet meeting on how we are going to follow up now that we have a better understanding of how they feel,” he told a news conference after launching the state initiative here, referring to his state executive board.
Musa said that it was important to give due attention to youth development and there was always a big allocation in the state budget towards activities in the sector. Federal Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin, who was also present at the same news conference, lauded the state initiative and encouraged other states to follow suit. “All this while we have been shooting in the dark, we do programmes that doesn‟t quite reach its target so with this reference, we have a better direction,” he said.
Khairy said that such an index would be most useful for the states, despite there already being a national youth index as it would provide more in depth understand of the youth culture in a particular state. “States could tweak the survey and customise certain indicators to reflect the issues and challenges in that particular state.
For instance, security in Sabah could be different along the eastern corridor. “I hope that we can go to the next phase to analyse the results and work together with the respective ministries and agencies,” he said. “Towards this end, we will encourage more infrastructure and development for productive activities in rural areas during after school hours while encouraging more programmes to expose them to the political process in the country and how it can bring benefit,” said Khairy