KUCHING, Dec 14: No substantive actions have been taken by the ruling coalition towards empowering the youth, claims Michael Kong, special assistant to Sarawak Democratic Action Party (DAP) chairman Chong Chieng Jen.
Kong asserted the youth deserve more recognition than what it is currently getting from the Sarawak government.
“…to-date, we have yet to see any substantive actions being taken towards youth empowerment. Foremost, there are not much activities from the Ministry of Youth and Sports to promote any engagement with the youth.
“A brief look at the current GPS (Gabungan Parti Sarawak) leadership reveals politicians who are mostly at least 50-years-old (with many being above 60 years of age!). With the current GPS politicians sitting comfortably in their current positions without any signs of grooming the next generation, this will hinder any youth participation in the nation-building,” Kong opined in a statement today.
He believed that without grooming of younger leaders, it will lead to a vacuum of able and willing youths who are capable of stepping up to the plate.
“Even Deputy Chief Minister, (Tan Sri Dr) James Masing has admitted to the failure by the current GPS government when he said that the younger Dayaks lack the experience to lead the state,” Kong highlighted.
On Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu Vice President Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah’s claim of recent constitutional amendment as GPS’ commitment to youth, Kong begged to differ.
“We may have the best legislation (or constitution) but without proper execution or enforcement, it is as good as having none in the first place.
“Therefore while the amendment of the constitution to allow those who are 18 years and above to become candidates in the state elections is a good step forward, it will be yet another sugar-coated attempt by the GPS government to fool the youth. GPS is at the end of the day merely a protector of the old guards,” Kong asserted.
The topic of youth in politics has attracted attention and debate recently following Masing’s recent statement.
Masing said while it is good to know that young Dayak leaders have high hopes of what they could and wish to achieve for their communities, they must learn to be patient in order to achieve their aspirations.
The Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) president held that young Dayak leaders have yet to go through the ‘battlefields’ of politics and they have yet to gain the experience and skills to balance the “pushes and pulls” of governing a multi-racial state like Sarawak.
He asserted that although youth may offer vitality, it is age and experience that provide wisdom in administering and guiding the nation to move forward peacefully. — DayakDaily