|Abdul Karim hands over contributions to recipients from welfare bodies. From left are Saribas assemblyman Mohd Razi Sitam and Assistant Minister of Youth and Sports Snowdan Lawan.|
KUCHING: Drug abuse, alcoholism, and illegal racing are social problems that continue to affect youths in the state.
Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah said as such the ministry needs to ensure its programmes are relevant and current for the youths of today.
“Based on this year’s statistics from the Statistics Department, 42 per cent or almost half of Sarawak’s 2.7 million population are those listed within the youth category. We see this as a challenge because youths are the heartbeat and indicator of the nation’s future.
“This is because how our country turns out to become in the next 20 years from now, is dependent on how we treat our youths who are our next echelon of leaders. If they are well groomed, the country will be on course to become a developed one, but the country will be in disorder if the youths are getting involved in social problems,” he said launching Program Imarah Belia Ramadan on Friday.
Karim, who is also Malaysian Drug Prevention Association (Pemadam) Sarawak chairman, said he is saddened that most drug abusers are youths, especially those who are Muslim and from the Malay community.
“We do not want these problems to continue affecting our youths,” he said.
Abdul Karim also expressed concern over the lower number of males entering tertiary institutions.
He said while he has full confidence in women in leadership roles, something needs to be done to ensure men are also equipped with tertiary education.
Meanwhile, 220 youths from various institutions of higher learning attended the event. -TheBorneoPost