KOTA KINABALU, Dec 2 — Youth development remains a priority of the state government as reflected by the RM16.89 million allocation in next year’s State Budget, said Chief Minister Datuk Seri Panglima Hajiji Noor.
He said the amount was slightly higher than this year’s budget, which saw RM16.42 million being set aside to implement the Youth Leadership Development Programme covering voluntarism and social unity activities.
“The higher allocation for next year clearly shows the state government’s commitment to developing Sabah youths as future leaders.
“In 2024, the state government will continue to implement various programmes including leadership, skill and entrepreneurial activities to empower youths in line with the Sabah Youth Policy,” he said at the inaugural state-level Sabah Youth Carnival 2023 at the Sabah International Convention Centre (SICC) here today.
Hajiji said last year the state government had allocated RM10 million to introduce a new initiative, the Sabah Youth Entrepreneurs Success Scheme (Syabas), as youths are assets and must be given opportunities in the state’s economic development.
Syabas was an initiative to assist youth entrepreneurs in starting and recovering their businesses from the impact of Covid-19. As of October this year, 2,655 youths have received RM2,000 each and another 238 were given RM5,000 each from the scheme.
The Chief Minister said besides focusing on the main sectors under the Hala Tuju Sabah Maju Jaya plan to stimulate growth and economic recovery, emphasis was also given to the second thrust of the plan, which is Human Capital Development and People’s Wellbeing.
Hajiji said the state government had also allocated RM44 million through 10 initiatives to assist youths pursuing tertiary education at private and public higher learning institutions.
“Through all the initiatives and allocations available for the youths, I hope we can achieve our target of ensuring youths improve their potentials and can compete at the global level, attain better education that opens up bigger opportunities for them and be more resilient to challenges as well as to be more creative to carve new opportunities,” he said.
He reminded that the slogan, “Belia Sabah Maju Jaya” will always be relevant in line with the Sabah Maju Jaya slogan as it encompasses the spirit and aspiration to develop Sabah and bring glory to the state.
“It also reflects our desire to move forward in various fields such as economy, education, cultural and social, especially among the youths,” he said.
Hajiji said the Sabah Youth Carnival is one of the significant programmes in appreciation of the youths’ role in the state’s development, adding that it is a platform to foster the leadership spirit among the younger generation.
The Chief Minister assured that the state government will look into the Sabah Youth Council’s request for assistance to organise the youth roadshow programme for 2024, if it is not already considered for allocation next year.
At the event, the Chief Minister accompanied by Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Ellron Angin presented the Sabah Perdana Youth Award to Azizul Julirin and Alesyah Asa. — Borneo Post