LAST_UPDATEFri, 22 Jun 2018 11pm

Who Do Malaysian Youths Want As Their Next Youth And Sports Minister?

With the new Malaysian Cabinet gradually taking shape, Bangi Member of Parliament (MP) Ong Kian Ming has proposed Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) Youth leader Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad as the next Youth and Sports Minister.

Ong relayed in a Twitter thread on Sunday (May 20, 2018) that, “Nik has administrative experience as the Selangor Exco in charge of education, human capital, science, technology and innovation.”

He also pointed out that the 36-year-old Setiawangsa MP will bring “a wealth of experience to the table” due to his prior stint as the deputy speaker for the Selangor state assembly and serving as a member of the Selangor DUN for two terms.

The DAP politician then conveyed the Muar MP Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman has the qualities that makes a good youth and sports minister as the 26-year-old is “charismatic, energetic, full of ideas and can relate very well to the youth.”

Be that as it may, the MP believes Syed Saddiq is more suited in the Deputy Minister position – which will enable him to learn from an experienced mentor.

And although the Permatang Pauh MP Nurul Izzah Anwar previously stressed that she does not want a cabinet position, Ong opined that Izzah would be “an inspiration to many young women including those in the sporting world,” in the event she assumed the position.

Seeing how Pakatan Harapan (PH) is blessed with an abundance of young talent, Malaysian Digest queried several youths on whom they would like to see succeed Rembau MP Khairy Jamaluddin.

M’sian Youths On Who Should Succeed KJ

Speaking with 18-year-old Alyah Saiful, the aspiring filmmaker opined that Syed Saddiq will fit the role as the talented debater has already established a strong presence amongst the youth.

“Syed Saddiq appeals to the youths because he is a youth himself, and also because he serves as the voice for the youths.

“So regardless if he’s not a sportsman, I do believe he has what it takes to take the Youth and Sports Ministry to the next level.”

While Alyah is rooting for Syed Saddiq to take the helms, Mikail Rayyan, on the other hand deduced that Syed Saddiq’s inexperience will be his Achilles heel, whilst underlining that KJ’s successor has elephantine shoes to fill.

Citing that KJ had revolutionised and ushered the Youth and Sports ministry to the future, the 28-year-old stressed that KJ put his heart into promoting #FitMalaysia as well as other various activities under this initiative.

“KJ is the reason why more youths (and the elders) are more engaged in sports activities and sporting lifestyle, and why the local sports industry is rapidly growing,” he emphasised

“Credit must be given to KJ for his impressive portfolio as the Youth and Sports Minister and with that being said, his successor must be someone who is equally creative, dedicated and in-tuned with local and global sport happenings – if not better.”

When asked who ought to take the helms, Mikail said that Nik Nazmi is at the top of his list, however, added that not a single MP or politician has his full confidence in succeeding KJ.

Muhammad Azfar on the other hand theorised that Hannah Yeoh would be an interesting candidate as he underlined that she is one of the few youth leaders that actively engages in sporting activities.

“The Segambut MP is known to go for hikes and rock-climbing,” he pointed out.

“Although her knowledge in sports remains uncertain, but at least Hannah is known to partake in outdoor activities.”

But Hannah Yeoh is not the only female candidate put forth by Malaysian youths as Amelia Ng calls for Nurul Izzah to spearhead the Youth and Sports Ministry as she echoed Ong’s prior statement.

Emphasising that Nurul Izzah will serve as a beacon of inspiration that debunks the notion that sports is purely dominated by men, she also stated that appointing Izzah as KJ’s predecessor is in line with PH’s promise in ensuring a 30 percent women presentation in cabinet.

“I know she has stated she doesn’t wish for a Cabinet seat, but a girl can dream,” she hoped.

“Having Izzah as the next Youth and Sports Minister will be ground-breaking – especially after her mother is the first female Deputy Prime Minister.”

But What Does It Take To Lead The Youth And Sports Ministry?

While the common perception is that the Youth and Sports Minister must be a sportsman or a sportswoman, Ong had tweeted that the notion is not necessarily true.

However, he opined that the next minister ought to have an interest in sports, in hopes of understanding and further developing the local sports industry.

“One of the biggest challenges facing the new sports ministers will be from the various sports associations especially at the national level.

“What many people don't realize is that the Minister has little to no control over the internal governance of these sports associations,” he tweeted.

“There are a total of 39 sports which are recognized under the Sports Development Act 1997. All of them have their own sports associations which are recognized by the Ministry of Youth & Sports.”

Ong then added that the ministry’s funding is another major challenge, and stressed that the 2018 budget allocation only provided RM451mil for opex and RM401mil for devex – which had served as a hindrance in permitting the ministry to build new sports facilities.

As he broke down where the funding is channelled to, Ong vehemently stressed that the Youth and Sports Minister has to be immensely creative in coming up with ways to promote sports and a sporting lifestyle in Malaysia, which KJ had done impeccably.

The new Minister must find similarly creative means to garner public support and attention to sporting activities at the individual and community levels. Including enhancing the #FitMalaysia concept to not just healthy activities but also healthy eating, for example,” he advised.

“Like all other Ministries, the Minister of Youth & Sports must know his / her area of jurisdiction very well & this is governed by statutes such as the Sports Development Act 1997 & the National Sports Council of Malaysia Act 1971.”

Prior GE14, KJ had stated that the next Youth and Sports Minister ought to be someone hailing from the younger generation -- emphasising that it is the youths who will lead the country to the future.

While Mahathir has yet to announce who will succeed KJ, the general consensus is that his successor has extremely big shoes to fill.

- Malaysian Digest