Kuala Lumpur, 25 March 2016 – The National Unity Youth Fellowship 2016 programme organised by the Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs (IDEAS) in partnership with the Department of National Unity and Integration (JPNIN) was launched today by Deputy Minister of Home Affairs Datuk Nur Jazlan Mohamed . 10 individuals between the ages of 18 and 27 were selected from numerous applications received from all over the country.

Speaking at the event, Datuk Nur Jazlan emphasised on the need for national unity and to invest in new blood to grow and develop the next generation of leaders for Malaysia. “It is a long journey but we must be patient, objective and be realistic. We can improve governance with like minded people who embrace challenges and are not afraid of change. This is lacking in today’s Malaysia.”

Director of the National Integration Study and Training Institute (IKLIN), Ho Khek Hua spoke of the challenges in addressing the diversity of competing needs and interests which dominate the national narrative.

“This is an opportunity to look for solutions to address longstanding problems which continue to plague this country”, emphasised Wan Saiful Wan Jan, IDEAS Chief Executive Officer. “Malaysians need to go back to the fundamental principles of the Rukun Negara which emphasise on the formation of a society based on liberal and progressive values.”

“We need to build a pool of young leaders being able to think critically, debate the issues of the nation and promote national unity. We need leaders who place integrity, accountability and transparency at the core of their patriotism and love for Malaysia.”

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