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By Karen Bong, Lian Cheng and Nur Ashikin Louis
KUCHING, June 17: Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB) will amend the party’s constitution to form a PBB Youth Movement under its Pemuda (Youth) Wing that will open up a platform and provide opportunities for youth aged 18 to 28 in politics.
PBB deputy president Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas said that this matter would be discussed in the main general assembly of the 15th PBB Convention tomorrow (June 18).
As to whether the new group will have a representation at the Supreme Council level, he replied: “We will need to see what and how are the amendments done.”
Earlier, when addressing the opening of the Pemuda and Women Wings assembly at Borneo Convention Centre Kuching (BCCK) here, Uggah, who is also the Deputy Premier, pointed out that 66 per cent of registered Sarawak voters, as of Dec 31, 2021, are between 18 and 29 years old.
“They are the Generation Z (Gen-Z) who are digital natives and very comfortable with using smartphones and are exposed to the Internet and social media.
“So we must make sure to invite them to join PBB or other component parties in Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) — SUPP (Sarawak United Peoples’ Party), PRS (Parti Rakyat Sarawak), and PDP (Progressive Democratic Party),” he said.
Meanwhile, PBB secretary-general Dato Sri Alexander Nanta Linggi emphasised that the soon-to-be established PBB Youth Movement will not be a separate formal wing but under the Pemuda Wing.
“With automatic registration for 18-year-old citizens to become voters (following the gazettement of Undi18), PBB has taken steps in making preparations to set up a special committee to study this.
“As such, there will be designated programmes and activities to be organised to absorb and expose them to politics. We need to nurture these youth to develop their leadership (skills) and capabilities as they will ultimately, as we hope, take over the roles of leaders in the future.
“We (PBB) hope they can start gaining experience in the political arena and then continue to play active roles in both the Pemuda and Women Wings,” he said when met at BCCK here.
On plans to form clubs at schools, colleges, and higher learning institutions, Nanta sees it as a good idea but cautioned that careful steps must be taken not to interfere or distract them (youth) who are still students from their studies.
The Minister of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs added that serious consideration must be given as it may be too early for students, especially in secondary schools and colleges, to get involved in politics.
“While we want to capture them as they are now voters, at the same time, we must be careful because we do not want politics to interfere with what they should be doing and focus on as students.
“But PBB wants to open ourselves to those who are interested in politics, including those who are still not interested initially but want and can contribute to politics in the future. We will try to attract them,” he said. — DayakDaily