KUALA LUMPUR: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, in a casual setting, listened to the aspirations of youth leaders on various topics at the National Transformation (TN50) town hall session today.
On the subject of education, Najib said Malaysia needs a system that focuses on training skills and creativity, adaptable to new job creation.
“The education system needs to be flexible and can cater to jobs that are not even in existence yet, and fill the demands of jobs for the generation today," he said in response to one of the audience members, Fanitsyara Kam Phon, who is former Universiti Malaya Student Representatives Council president.
Fanitsyara had earlier suggested several ideas on how to develop the country's education system.
“First, I wish for accessibility of education for everyone, including minorities like me, so thatwe can all get the same opportunities.
“There should also be flexible education by changing our syllabus from one that is exam-oriented to industrial-oriented. There should also be emphasis on changing of ideas into invention through innovation,” she said.
On the subject of unity, Najib admitted that there is still a gap in unity among Malaysians despite citizens living in harmony.
He agreed with TN50 participant Shahril Hamdan who said Malaysia needs to strengthen its core values, and must move beyond mere ‘tolerance’ among races.
“We are generally harmonious. We can see moments of unity, especially when our athletes perform on the world stage.
“However we still live in our own compartments. It is not ideal but it is the situation we live in. The question now is how do we get to the next level," Najib said.
On issues concerning the civil service, the prime minister said he was also open to the idea of making fast lanes for young public servants to climb the ranks.
“Those who possess strong capability and high ethics can be promoted on merit, and not just based on seniority. This way, young public servants can play bigger roles in their respective fields,” he said.