Nation Building School was launched on 3rd September 2015 during our inaugural Assembly (forum). During this occasion, we invited 5 prominent young leading figures in business, entertainment and politics to talk about the future of youth in Malaysia. Impact Hub Kuala Lumpur was gracious and generous to host us at their lovely and hipster venue in Sentul East Design Centre.
The speakers were as follows:
1. Michael Teoh Su Lim — Youth icon & Founder, Thriving Talents
2. Caprice (Ariz Ramli) — Founder,Classruum.com & rap artist Caprice Official Group
3. Jazz Tan — CEO & Founder, YouthsToday.com
4. Zaidel Baharuddin — Barisan Nasional Youth Executive Secretary
5. Edry Faizal Yusof — Coordinator, Roketkini & DAPSY - Democratic Action Party Socialist Youth
We asked them to explore the topic of ‘Young Malaysians and Our Future: Looking Beyond 2020.’
The panel kicked off the session by introducing themselves. They, then, proceeded to talk about the subject.
Youth icon Michael Teoh noted in his 7 years working with youth, he has witnessed the explosion of young people volunteering and taking direct action. He expects more NGOs and movements to organise on key issues in the coming future.
Young entrepreneur Jazz Tan concurred with Michael's observation. Jazz, leading a sponsorship matching platform for students, says young people are dabbling in entrepreneurship at a rate never seen before. She believes more youth participation in business bodes well for the country as young people rely less on government aid and hand-outs.
Rapper-turned-entrepreneur Caprice (Ariz) encouraged aspiring entrepreneurs and activists to take up causes and solve them. There is money and impact to be made. He shared his experience in creating a platform to democratise access to high-quality education through online tutoring, Classruum.com.
Young politician from the ruling party, Zaidel took a different turn. He talks up of a brighter future for all Malaysians with the government's national transformation policy. However, he acknowledges a number of people would fall in between cracks, as with any ambitious grand scale policy. His mission is ensure nobody is leave behind in the country's journey to be a high-income nation by 2020. Most importantly, he called on Malaysians to be active citizens and be part of the decision-making process.
His counterpart from the Opposition, Edry agreed with Zaidel's clarion call. Edry introduced the concept of socialist democracy as another to nation-building. He says a socialist democratic system ensures economic development is more even and equal for the benefit of all Malaysians. Edry believes government should play a more proactive role in people's welfare. He talks about his initiative Sekolah Demokrasi in encouraging youth to be active citizens.
All in all, all speakers agreed the future of young Malaysians beyond 2020 is optimistic. There are challenges abound but we should see opportunity in crisis - and seize them. The 5 speakers also called on young people to be actively involved in the nation-building process.
We are youth platform aiming to shape the future, one mind at a time.