Time for 'colour-blind, holistic approach', says deputy Education Minister

KUALA LUMPUR: The time has come for the nation to embed a "colour-blind, holistic approach" to education that embraces ethnic and cultural differences positively, said Deputy Education Minister Senator Chong Sin Woon.

He said this has to be done for the sake of the future generation who will not be intimidated by ethnic-based threats but instead work forward firmly on our beliefs for a better Malaysia.

Chong said this in his keynote address at the Second Malaysian Youth Public Policy Roundtable Session by Center for Public Policy Studies (CPPS) today. The Roundtable session is organised to bring as many stakeholders of the society together to propose ideas, share experiences and brainstorm solutions.

"As a young politician, I also believe the primary way to execute youth empowerment is via education and acknowledge the deficiencies in the education system in it (youth empowerment). When young people are empowered, they can make informed choices freely, take action, be aware of the implications, and accept the responsibility," Chong who is also MCA Youth Chief said.

He reaffirmed that he would strive to create an enabling and youth-friendly environment to allow young people, even young opposition politicians, and all who are passionate with nation building, to come together in a safe space to brainstorm, debate, contribute, act, and pave the road forward together.

Chong said due to the negative perception of the older generation on the younger generation, very often the positive Gen-Y characteristics is unacknowledged.

"It has been exceptionally difficult for the younger generation to thrive and contribute more effectively. In other words, as adults, we are not providing the platform for youth today to prosper, with the restrictions that we set, believing it is for the betterment of the society," he added.

He said there is a shift in which a commitment to democracy and transparency that is beginning to take hold.

"The generation of young people today are a well informed bunch due to free flow of real time information, thus also shaping high hopes and expectations to the leaders of the nation. Politicians can no longer cover up issues or twist facts, as everything they say or do will be verified or questioned in the next instance," said Chong.