KUALA LUMPUR, June 8 ― So what are Khairy Jamaludin’s aspirations for Malaysia in 2050?
The youth and sports minister who has been put in charge of Transformasi 2050 (TN50) has been attending quite a few engagement programmes with Malaysians listening to their aspirations.
The initiative which is the brainchild of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak has so far already engaged with 1.2 million Malaysians nationwide through dialogues and collected over 30,000 aspirations since its launch in January.
Khairy told Malay Mail Online he dreams of future-proofing Malaysia to create a suitable environment for all including his own children. Khairy and his wife Nori Abdullah have three young sons.
“I'm very passionate about the future of Malaysia. I see a lot of changes taking place not just in Malaysia but around the world that we need to be prepared for.
“Technology, geopolitics, economics as well as demographics, health and longevity. All these things will change considerably over the next 30 years.
“I want us to secure the future. The term is I want to future-proof Malaysia. That requires preparations to be made today.”
Khairy said that he has been “surprised” with the engagement sessions with Malaysians being more knowledgeable than he expected them to be and by then being open about their aspirations as well criticisms.
“I was pleasantly surprised that young Malaysians have come forward saying yes we want development but not at the expense of having an unsustainable country... we need to look after the environment, making sure we don't burden future generations and need to work towards a society that is fair.
“Development not for just the sake of GDP numbers but to ensure that there is better distribution of income and opportunities. Not just short term wins but long term gains. I've been very impressed with the kind of aspirations that have come forward,” he said.
Steps have already been taken to realise some of these aspirations eg cultivating the habit of taking care of the environment at kindergarten level.
“We have started to develop a module for kids in government pre-schools which involves recycling.
“A lot of Malaysians felt strongly that we lack awareness about the environment... about recycling, cleaning up after ourselves. We're starting that now. That is definitely a TN50 aspiration project and we are developing it today,” Khairy said.
The 41-year-old also said there are plans for building a “kampung of the future.” Khairy explained these modern villages would not only help “develop” rural areas but also encourage graduates to move back to their hometowns and help improve the economy there.
“We have to also imagine the kampung of the future, not just urban areas. Although by 2050, 85 per cent of our population will live in the cities you still have 15 per cent living in rural areas.
“What do we do then? We have to build the kampung of the future. This kampung will have fantastic roads, good healthcare, is well connected you can work from there,” he said.