AFTER brainstorming with all the bright young minds at Invest Malaysia 2015, we came up with a list of issues and ideas we wanted to discuss with Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak. Here’s how he responded:

“Many top young minds go overseas to gain more exposure. So how do we retain young talent?”
— Celine Bow, treasury department, CIMB.

Najib: We need to create more opportunities within Malaysia to attract these young talents. The pay packages we’re offering are not very competitive, considering that a person with talent would have the whole world to choose from. I’m urging both private and government-linked corporations to raise their pay packages.

“We’re concerned about the gap between socio-economic groups and the urban-rural divide. Since Malaysia is chairing Asean this year, what will we be doing to address this, and what efforts are being made to collaborate with other countries in the region?”
— Adley Goh, the Kalsom Movement.

Najib: Regionally, we are encouraging cooperative programmes for Asean youth to promote social enterprise, solve social issues and make socially responsible investments.

Some of our other initiaves include encouraging companies to, in their corporate strategies, be socially responsible and more inclusive in terms of gender and age groups.

Public listed companies should publish their inclusivity agenda in their annual reports so we have a sense of whether they are really moving in the direction of being more inclusive.

“Students, especially those from the public education system, have a problem with communication. Are there any initiatives to solve this?”
— Ben Tak, Bursa Young Investors Club, Nottingham University.

Najib: The problem here is the English proficiency level, which I am not happy about. Students in our public universities have to learn to be bilingual. I have spoken to Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin about this, and set a challenge for the Ministry of Education to include English literature in schools. I think they are still grappling with this.

“What are some of the efforts and plans we can look forward to in the 11th Malaysia Plan, and how can the youth participate?”
— Mohamed Izzat Wan Hashim, Bursa Malaysia

Najib: We are looking at helping startup companies, so we established MaGIC to give new entrepreneurs the help they need. We also urge organisations to give new startups more capital support.

There will also be entrepreneurship training – education is key to entrepreneurial success. We need to do more so people get better access to startup capital. Technical education needs to be expanded as well.

Youth representation and participation is very important. We need young people to give their ideas and participate in decision making. The youth parliament, for example, is one place where people can give their ideas.


Literature grad-turned-journalist who loves our R.AGE team karaoke nights a little too much. While her literature background has left her with a slightly twisted sense of humour, it has also given her a passion for writing on social issues.


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