The following article is submitted to the Editorial of Malaysia Gazette by reader, Susan Ooi.
A ground-breaking ceremony was held for the second Tunku Mahkota Ismail Youth Centre (TMIYC) in Muar, Johor on Tuesday, 29th December 2020. Officiated by Johor’s Crown Prince Tunku Ismail Sultan Ibrahim (TMJ), the ceremony marked the next step in realising his vision of opening a Youth Centre in every district in Johor.
Since his appointment as the leader of all youth activities in Johor by His Majesty The Sultan of Johor Sultan Ibrahim Sultan Iskandar in September of this year, TMJ has moved at breakneck speed to bring about developments and change to benefit the 1.69 million youths that make up the Johor population.
After seeing the challenging conditions that youths experience today, TMJ’s efforts to alleviate their concerns and cater to the needs of the youths in the last 2 months alone far eclipses that of former Youth and Sports Minister Syed Saddiq in his 22 months as a Federal Minister.
This goes to show that TMJ means what he says, and if he says that he wants to build a Youth Centre in every district of Johor, that is what he will do. With one launched and a second now on the way, TMJ has indicated that there will be more announcements in the coming year.
TMIYC is entirely the brainchild of TMJ, envisioned as the focal point of efforts to empower Johor youths and prepare them for life through leadership and skills training, inculcating the spirit of volunteerism and character-building exercises as well as physical training.
Apart from the TMIYC, he also launched the Southern Volunteers, a non-governmental organisation aimed at spurring the spirit of volunteerism amongst Johorean youths through grassroots activities and providing support in humanitarian missions. This will complement TMIYC’s facilities by providing Johorean youths a platform to engage in volunteering opportunities, locally and abroad.
Combined with his visionary foresight and steely determination, TMJ has made his case for Johorean youths so compelling that the Johor state government has allocated RM57.3 million in their state budget for 2021 towards implementing various initiatives for Johorean youths. This highlights the importance of understanding the ever-changing needs of Johorean youths and translating ideas into action. Something that TMJ is indeed extremely capable of doing.
In an act of compassion, TMJ also donated RM300,000 of his personal funds towards helping youths from 96 villages in Muar district to help with their educational needs. This was announced during the ground-breaking ceremony and without much brouhaha. It was just done, unlike Syed Saddiq who has generated a lot of noise on social media in his recent efforts to raise RM200,000 by saying that he will shave his head bald if he is able to raise the amount in five days.
This is wholly unnecessary. Why ask the people, who have been badly affected by the Covid-19 pandemic and are facing income difficulties to pay for something that he could definitely have found funding for through other means? For all we know, this could just be a political gimmick to raise funds for his flagging MUDA movement. Unable to register as a political party and receive donations, Syed Saddiq must be in desperate need of funds to keep it going. Knowing his past political manoeuvres, it would not come as a surprise if this was the case.
Amidst these challenging times, it is clear that TMJ walks the talk and Syed Saddiq just talks. Looking at the tangible fruits of his labour, TMJ’s vision for a developed and progressive Johor is shining ever brighter.
Editorial note: The views expressed are those of the author/contributor and do not necessarily represent the views of Malaysia Gazette.