KUALA LUMPUR: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim (pix) today held an engagement session with thousands of young people in the dialogue programme ‘Temu Anwar’ by answering a myriad of questions in a relaxed and open manner.
In the nearly two-hour programme, Anwar answered dozens of enquiries related to current issues including job opportunities, health, education, transportation and the economy.
The country’s number one leader also spent time meeting the various participants who wanted to take selfies, and some even invited him to their Aidilfitri open house.
Among the questions raised at the session was related to the difficulty of entering the public sector, to which Anwar explained that the Public Service Commission (SPA) would open job opportunities if there were vacancies.
“If all graduates were to work (in the public sector), it will ‘swell’ the public service. I’m giving a very realistic, not necessarily a popular answer, but that’s the truth. Can we expand continuously without consideration to the requirement and financial constraint?
“SPA is like a company. If it needs 400 people, (then) 400 people,“ he said at the programme which was also attended by Minister of Communications and Digital Fahmi Fadzil at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre.
Anwar said job opportunities in the public sector will be increased if the country is able to drive the economy.
He said for that reason, the government is also focusing on the empowerment of Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) which opens up opportunities for graduates to enter the private sector armed with the technical skills obtained from the programme besides higher salaries.
On the question of whether it is necessary to create a regulation for those who participate in practical training (internship) to be given an allowance, the Prime Minister said the matter needs to be studied because the principle of practical training is voluntary by the company.
“...but I think it’s unfair of companies that can afford not to pay, at least for their meals and fares and not to burden the family.
“When I was in the opposition, I also had an internship programme and indeed we paid to make sure at least for the food and fare and ease their burden,“ he said.
Regarding the issue of the Universities and University Colleges Act 1971 (UUCA), Anwar said that even though the government stated that it would not be repealed, some provisions in the act that restricted the freedom of students and lecturers would be removed.
The dialogue programme which was organised by Anwar Ibrahim Club (AIC), was conducted by celebrity Amelia Henderson and was attended by more than 5,000 youth. - Bernama