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Malaysia’s Youth: Towards Producing a World-Class Human Capital

Experiencing modernity in this challenging era is not a simple matter to people throughout the world. Robust competition in economic, technological and social sectors requires political stability both inside and outside the country. Economic development, regional and also world politics give major implications for countries around the world including Malaysia. The role played by international organizations such as the United Nations (UN), Organisation of Islamic Conference (OIC), Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) and such is very helpful in ensuring healthy competition in economic, social and political aspects.

In facing this situation, our minds are often bombarded with the greatness of the west without opening our eyes and looking at the capabilities and advantages that we have which includes the potential of the young generation who are always high-minded and eager to change the world arena. I see a future and a huge opportunity in the hands of Malaysia whereby this time we have the opportunity to chair the Organisation of Islamic Countries (OIC). This opportunity coupled with great responsibility has to be filled with the best way possible for the good of the religion and the country. Looking at the future of Islam and the world debate on the situation today, I feel the time has come for us to optimise the best possible opportunities and roles available. Changes and challenges cannot be easily established without the determined efforts of all parties, including efforts to form young people who are skilled, competitive, courageous and visionary. Groups of young people like these are necessary if we want to see a bright future for the religion, country and nation.

As the young people of the 21st century, we should always be high-minded and have a clear vision of the effort to uphold religion, country and nation. I feel that this mission is not impossible to be achieved if the country manages to form a quality young generation. I am very optimistic about the ability of young Malaysians in facing current challenges. But to achieve this noble intention, it requires intensive preparation including the application of moral values into the youth themselves at an early stage. Among the values are leadership qualities, competitiveness, courageousness, high-mindedness and prudence. Our young people need to build their self-esteem, personality, mental health and knowledge in order to become a dynamic and superior being in the future. Young people who are skilled and knowledgeable will be able to provide valuable input to the country.

Young Malaysians should realise the importance of their role towards the future of the country. The responsibility and their role are very big. Thus, a positive paradigm shift towards it is very important, such as challenging the comfort zones that they have. Challenging the comfort zone here does not mean they cannot live in comfort but instead that they should always be prepared to consider for a bright future of Malaysia. This is because young people have the scope and sharp observance in helping the country to remain strong in the social, economic and political aspects.

In an effort to develop and maintain a world class human capital, competition between countries is also increasing, especially of developed countries. They adopt a comprehensive disclosure policy in an effort to attract excellent human capital, including among Malaysians. Thus, a positive competitive attitude is also able to produce and develop young people who are competent and competitive in all aspects. Skilled and knowledgeable labour is the cutting edge for the country's competitiveness. In this case, I feel that the government should take holistic measures to strengthen education and training system starting from early childhood education up to tertiary level. In addition, the increase of competence of graduates in institutions of higher learning also plays a key role in moving towards the mission of producing a quality human capital in this country. Academicians in various specialties are the leaders and explorers of ideas, concepts and new theories that become the cornerstone of the current development of knowledge.

Cooperation from all parties is essential to realise the hope of the future. I analogize this situation with a football team where all team members must play a role, regardless the position. Each player starting from the goalkeeper, defenders, midfielders and attackers are equally important. If even the players are as good as Rooney, Messi or Ronaldo, but the defender and goal keeper are weak then the team might lose. Therefore, to achieve a bright future of Malaysia, we must work together so that it is not an empty fantasy solely. Like it or not, these days the country is at a crossroads between a future that is either bright or bleak. The choice is now in the hands of every Malaysian.

MUHAMMAD FIRWAN NORLIZA,
PRESIDENT,
STUDENTS’ REPRESENTATIVE COUNCIL,
INTERNATIONAL ISLAMIC UNIVERSITY MALAYSIA 2009/2010

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