Monday, April 14, 2008

Govt study: Youngsters just ain’t patriotic

(STAR) BACHOK: A recent Government study has revealed that patriotism levels among youth in the country have declined significantly and if left unchecked, could lead to serious consequences for nation building.

Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Ismail Sabri Yaakob said the revelation has forced the ministry to re-look its policy on how to engage youth.

The Government has admitted it has lost the support of youths and has been unable to reach out to the technology-savvy generation, he said.

“We need to adapt to changing needs and lifestyles. For starters, we need to re-instil patriotism in youths regardless of their ethnicity or religious backgrounds,'' he said during his inaugural working visit to the east coast state.

Earlier, he held dialogues with youth department officers and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) at the youth skills institute here.

Ismail said the ministry would now be “result-orientated” with a specific goal of restoring confidence among the young in the Government.

This would include the ministry setting up its own blog as well as channelling funds directly to all youth associations, including youth-based NGOs in the country.

“We have decided to reduce bureaucracy. From now on, all funding for youth NGOs and associations will come directly from the ministry.

“We would ensure the grassroots have funds to conduct activities for youths,” he said.

Character-building programmes that instil patriotism are also needed to shore up support among youths, Ismail said.

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