MALACCA: The formation of a young community, higher education and the role of university students, the economy of the young, reforms and leadership, and organisational discipline are five areas focused on by the Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) Youth wing (AMK) to face the problems of the young generations in the country.
AMK chief Akmal Nasrullah Mohd Nasir said PKR, which is the backbone of the ruling party, and Pakatan Harapan (PH) now had the opportunity to realise reform and changes as a government and spur the nations towards the better.
‘’But after one year-and-a-half, is it apt for us to ponder and evaluate how far our achievements are in dealing with the fate and hope of the young group.
‘’As the youth wing of PKR, politics has become our true task. At the same time, we need to look at a more holistic framework, which encompasses the challenges of economy, social and civics among the young,’’ he said when delivering his policy speech at the 2019 AMK National Congress at the Melaka International Trade Centre in Air Keroh, here.
Speaking in front of 1,088 delegates at the congress themed ‘Two Decades of Reform, Filling the Victory of the People’, he said PKR which is now the ruling party, must use the 20-year experience of reform as the foundation and soul of AMK’s strength.
In the effort to form a young community, he said AMK could not depend solely on on the agencies or departments, on the other hand AMK must always have a role in society.
‘’I suggest we create a young community movement campaign to co-ordinate programmes and activities nationwide. We will launch it after the Chinese New Year so that the effort of AMK at the grassroots will impact positively and be felt in each area,’’ he said.
In line with the responsibility and challenges faced as a political party which always craved for changes towards the better, PKR he said, must introspect and evaluate how far the achievements specifically in championing the lot and hope of the young group.
In a transparent tone, Akmal Nasrullah said in facing the challenges and issues of higher education and the role of university students, AMK must play the role of facilitator and specially in solving the problems faced by the students.
Citing the example of the action to respond to the urgings of the government to ease the burden of cost of living in campus with the implementation of the foodbank programme, he said the student foodbank programme must be improved.
“All are piecemeal solutions. While we find ways to improve the administration, we must be sincere about changing the basic or core matters,’’ he stressed.
Elaborating broadly on the issue of education loans under the National Higher Education Fund Corporation (PTPTN), which, among the realities was that 68 per cent of PTPTN borrowers were still low income earners under the B40 category, he said AMK members must together ensure the PTPTN borrowing method be replaced with a more more holistic and sustainable way.
On the issue of employment, which is an important aspect in empowering the economy of the young, he said the employment of foreign workers must be reduced from 16 per cent of the total workforce to 10 per cent in five years to give a wider employment opportunity to the young people.
‘’Can this be implemented? The minister said to create 350,000 job opportunities. The PH government allocates RM6.5 billion in a five-year period. Numerous incentives are provided for jobless graduates, women to return to work. The employers also receive incentives and there are also additional remuneration for replacing foreign workers with local ones.
‘’The Budget (2020) also channels a significantly large fund to the digital economic industry, R & D, business grants, entrepreneurs and numerous others. The determined effort to boost local job opportunities and the use of technology and IT, must be tied with with the commitment of the nation to reduce foreign workers,’’ he said.
On reform and leadership, Akmal Nasrullah said PKR must maintain its principles of upholding justice, democracy, respecting the multi-racial society and rejecting tyranny and abuse of power.
‘’We must stick to this principle, don’t disappoint the people out there. As a multi-racial party, the people surely see PKR as the hope in protecting the national plurality,’’ he said.
The Johor Baru Member of Parliament stressed that AMK maintained its adherence and giving full support to the government to ensure the smoothness of the administration, specifically in the process of transfer of power.
Broaching on the organisational discipline, he that it was not merely discussions from the party point of view but burnishing talents and leaderships to champion the people and bring about change.
‘’I remind myself and the leadership to safeguard organisational discipline and always using the correct platform to manage our movements,’’ he said, adding that AMK would create the Reform Academy next year.
Earlier, the start of the AMK annual congress was tarnished by a small incident after a group of AMK members were not allowed into the hall as it was full.
The incident took place when the PKR Central Leadership Council representative Datuk Seri Shamsul Ishhandar Md Akin announced new appointments for the post of Permanent Chairman and deputy Permanent Chairman of the wing, which were currently held by Melaka AMK secretary, Rashid Abu Bakar and Kedah AMK secretary Wan Mohamad Syahezral Wan Shahidan. — Bernama