PETALING JAYA : Society needed to fully understand the meaning of youth empowerment in order to enable young people to think and act on their own, said Deputy Higher Education Minister Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah.
“Youth empowerment is about capacity building, youth autonomy and it is a very important approach towards developing young people.
“(but) we rarely invite young people in the decision-making process…they are simply invited as participants most of the time,” he told reporters after closing the Selangor Model United Nations (MUN) conference at Taylor’s College Subang Jaya, here, Sunday.
Saifuddin also said that society needed to realise and recognise the three basic demands of young people as they too had their voice, role and issues.
“As such, youth empowerment should start from the home. Let kids decide their holiday destinations during the school holidays as this will encourage them to speak up their minds and to make choices, allowing them to think and act,” he added.
The inaugural conference was the first independent MUN in Malaysia hosted by Taylor’s and attended by delegates from Malaysia, Singapore and the United Kingdom.
The three-day conference, themed ‘Lift As You Climb’, aimed to transform MUN into a character-shaping and nation-building activity that would be open to all.
MUN also brings interested young adults together to discuss their views on worldwide topics, from child soldiers to the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons through debates.