Rakan Muda youth programme to make a comeback?

THE Youth and Sports Ministry is planning to bring back the nostalgic Rakan Muda youth programme that gained popularity in the 1990s.

According to its minister Hannah Yeoh, the “return” was planned for this year as part of the ministry’s efforts to empower the youths and teach leadership skills to the community.

“Rakan Muda is now in a state of planning for its execution, when it’s ready we’re going to launch it,” she said when met at Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) earlier today.

Rakan Muda was a youth empowerment movement that was launched in 1994 and was part of former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s Vision 2020 programme that he hoped would develop strong youth equipped for the challenges of the 21st century.

Youths who intend to enrol in the Rakan Muda programme can choose from an array of activities including field sports, swimming, bodybuilding and even martial arts.

The programme also offered offered environmental and nature activities like visiting and learning about historic places in Malaysia, frequenting the rural areas to raise awareness of the struggles poor people faced as well as learning about how to preserve nature.

Rakan Muda also used to offer advice on business and entrepreneurship while offering deep-sea diving and outdoor camping excursions.

Interest in the programme dwindled around 2000 due to a lack of interest, poor promotional activities and lack of government support.

Recall also that in 2015, Khairy Jamaluddin, when he was the youth and sports minister, had also mooted the idea of reviving the programme although the plan did not materialise.

On Rakan Muda, Yeoh further noted that in addition to wanting to bring it back this year with better connectivity between ministries, they will be working with the Higher Education Ministry to bring the programme back.

“All other programmes that we want will be parked under Rakan Muda so there is greater synergy and greater coordination,” the Segambut MP was reported as saying by Malay Mail.

“Rakan Muda was very well known during my time. We were the first batch in the 1990s and now we are all parents and teenagers. If we bring Rakan Muda back you will reach out across generations.

“The parents will believe in Rakan Muda and make sure their children sign up for Rakan Muda.” – April 6, 2023


Main pic credit: Bernama

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