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“…we felt at home, to say the least” – Our Meeting with ‘Abah’

By:

Kavita Maheendran

Executive Committee Members

Malaysian Youth Council

Last 22 July 2020, the supreme leadership together with executive committee members of Malaysian Youth Council (MBM), had the opportunity to meet The Right Honourable Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin – Prime Minister of Malaysia. Well, with many meetings we have attended and having to meet individuals, each with different personalities; so this meeting would not get onto our nerves – we thought.

Some of us arrived early at The Malaysian Houses of Parliament, having casual chat after lunch and we were scrolling through our phones. Our President, Jufitri Joha gave a short brief of what will be discussed and raised upon meeting the Prime Minister. We all nodded in agreement and marched together towards the next building.

As we entered a conference room, we were greeted by the lovely secretary and officers from the Prime Minister’s office (PMO). We were mingling with PMO’s officers and exchanging conversations. Later, the Prime Minister’s Special Protection Group or bodyguards arrived while communicating via their push-to-talk devices. They entered and checked the room, inspected the token that we brought in as a gift; yes, safety for country’s Prime Minister is utmost important.

We had butterflies in our stomach and we were mustering up all the last bits of confidence to meet him. Then, the moment finally arrived. The room dropped pin silence as Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin walked in donning his black coloured cloth mask. All of us then seated to begin the meeting, quickly followed by multiple sounds of camera shutters with flashes for documentation purpose.

The session was led by our respected MBM President. He presented the main 11 matters that needed to be addressed to the Prime Minister. The discussed matters include, (i) The Enhanced Role of MBM in Youth Development, (ii) Commitment of MBM in Awakening Youths Through Shared Vision of Prosperity, (iii) Creating Platform to Allow Participation of Youth Representatives in Policy-making, (iv) The Establishment of Cross-party Group for Parliamentary Youth Affairs, (v) Issues Faced by Urban and Rural Youths Especially in Sabah and Sarawak, (vi) Request for Tax Exemption to MBM for the Receipt of Funding from Corporates, (vii) Transformation of MBM’s Building as a Youth-Hub, (viii) Establishment of an Advisory Board Consisting Youngsters, (ix) Establishment of Youth Commission Under JPM (Jabatan Perdana Menteri), (x) International Agenda and Global Leadership and finally (xi) MBM as the Leading Organisation for Racial Unity in Malaysia.

Some of the topics raised were then elaborated by few of the EXCO in depth. The Prime Minister listened with patience to each plea, suggestions, ideas and topics raised by us. He then began speaking by formally welcoming us and addressed each of the matters, one by one. It was a delightful discussion and we are glad to have most of our ideas and questions supported and answered with ease by him. He truly understood our concerns as he was a youth leader himself during his younger days.

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