- Published on Sunday, 24 August 2014 09:44
KUALA LUMPUR: Khairy Jamaluddin believed the Opposition managed to get one thing right - clinching tonnes of votes from the younger generation, despite its many flaws -- according to critics.
The Umno Youth Chief also admitted that during the last general election, the Pakatan Rakyat had given many opportunities for the young to fill up positions in the Opposition coalition's leadership.
Khairy believed that Umno needed to do just that; fielding more young candidates so that they can join the party's top posts and the line of Cabinet in order to reach out to the youths.
"When you have young people in Cabinet and top leadership of the party, policies naturally flow and become friendly towards young people. So we need to do that," he said during the 8th Malaysian Student Leaders Summit (MSLS) on Saturday.
He said youths nowadays are more concerned about issues regarding their income, cost of living, housing and owning their own car, which needs to be addressed by the government.
Khairy also said the government also needs to demonstrate good governance, transparency, honesty, integrity and humility -- as the youths demand it.
"You can't close the door on anybody or close the book on anything, you have to have an 'open book' government.
"Young people want to see a sustained, consistent demonstration towards the government. And if you can get that right, you can get all the young voters with you," the Rembau MP said.
Admitting the need to regenerate and rejuvenate the government's leadership, Khairy said it is very important to have more representatives from the younger generation in Cabinet in order to have a better meeting of minds between the young and the more experienced.
"For the next general election, Umno must field more young candidates. When we have younger candidates, that will also influence Cabinet selecting decision.
"When we have more younger capable candidates in the next general election, then we will have more younger generations coming in (to Cabinet)," he said.
Khairy said when two different generations meet in the Cabinet and come up with two different perspectives, it will generate a better decision-making process.
"Of course I don't agree that everyone in the Cabinet should be under 50 or under 40. I think there are a lot of politicians who are over 50 who are capable because of their wisdom and experience."
Khairy said these people deserve to lead the country as they have been around longer and they know how to run things better.
"What I'd like to see is the combination of wise old men and also younger, idealistic, hungry politicians who can complement the wisdom of senior Cabinet members," he added.
Meanwhile, on another matter, Khairy said the perception of making vocational education 'second choice' or 'last resort' should be changed.
"Vocational and technical education should be seen as a viable alternative for a person who may not be academically inclined or book smart," he said.
He pointed that some of the most industrialised nations like Germany has a frighteningly high level of participation of vocational education, whereas Malaysia only has about 30 percent.
Besides that, it is absolutely critical to get education right in order to boost up the country's economy, he said.