OPINION: TMIYC and Southern Volunteers: The beacon of human capital growth

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TMJ believes it is essential for Johorean youths to have a platform to harness their leadership skills, morale and volunteerism spirit while remaining physically active. This was later conceptualised by TMJ as a one-stop Tunku Mahkota Ismail Youth Centre (TMIYC) one-stop Tunku Mahkota Ismail Youth Centre (TMIYC). The TMIYC

The following article is submitted to the Editorial of Malaysia Gazette by reader, Razali Azman.

There are at least 1,500,000 Johoreans who are categorically “youth” by age definition, which translates to 5% of Malaysia’s of overall population. As a context, there are 82 countries with a population as big. It shows the underlying potential of Johor’s human capital to sustain its rapid development in the long run.

As a visionary leader, Johor’s Crown Prince Tunku Ismail Sultan Ibrahim (TMJ) recognises the need to empower Johorean youths early on. In a growing challenging environment, TMJ believes it is essential for Johorean youths to have a platform to harness their leadership skills, morale and volunteerism spirit – while remaining physically active.

This was later conceptualised by TMJ as a one-stop Tunku Mahkota Ismail Youth Centre (TMIYC). The TMIYC will be open daily with various facilities provided towards character-building and physical exercises. In the long run, the TMIYC will be made available in all 10 of Johor’s districts.

Needless to say, this idea received full support from Johor’s state government. In Johor’s state budget for 2021, RM57.3 million is allocated towards implementing various initiatives for Johorean youths. The state government will also establish a youth database aimed at providing comprehensive youth-related information to state’s policymakers.

This highlights the importance of understanding the ever-evolving needs of Johorean youths for well-rounded development, as has always been emphasised by TMJ.

More importantly, the TMIYC is not just another line item on a proposal paper.

On 21 December 2020, the first TMIYC was officiated by TMJ in Johor Bahru. The TMIYC spans over 6.07 hectare and consists of 11 multi-purpose facilities for wide-ranging activities such as Pump Track, Canopy Walk, Youth Centre, Mountain Bike Trail, Chill Pods, Rock Yard, Parkour Park, Kiddo Ground and Skatepro.

These facilities not only provide much needed space for Johorean youths to remain physically healthy, but also as a healthy distraction to distance themselves from negative influences. This is as the TMIYC provides a controlled environment whereby Johorean youths are able to interact, conduct activities together, as well as learn through experiential exposures to teamwork and leadership.

During the same launch event, TMJ had also announced the founding of a non-governmental organisation named “Southern Volunteers”. The Southern Volunteers aims to spur the spirit of volunteerism among Johoreans through grassroot-oriented activities in supporting humanitarian missions. It is intended to complement TMIYC’s facilities by providing Johorean youths with volunteering engagements, be it locally or abroad.

Such programs has proven to be effective in creating dynamic future leaders, with the most popular being the Peace Corps program by the US government. In that respect, the Southern Volunteers will provide Johorean youths with a sense of purpose and belonging to contribute towards community-building. This is an aspect of character-building espoused by TMJ when he first mooted the discussion on optimising the potentials of Johorean youths.

Amidst the unprecedented times we are living in, the launching of both TMIYC and Southern Volunteers provide glimmers of hope, particularly for Johorean youths. It also shows that TMJ is a leader who “walks the talk” and is inclusive in his vision for a developed and progressive Johor.

While Johor is already miles ahead with its football development programs, the TMIYC and Southern Volunteers will open up new chapters for Johor to be the beacon of human capital growth in Malaysia.

This commitment begins today in Johor Bahru.

-Razali Azman-

Editorial note: The views expressed are those of the author/contributor and do not necessarily represent the views of Malaysia Gazette.

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