PUTRAJAYA: Twenty-nine Malaysian youth selected for The Ship For South-East Asian and Japanese Youth Program (SSEAYP) 2017 will present the National Transformation 2050 (TN50) masterplan on board the Nippon Maru ship that will sail from Oct 23 to Dec 3.
Handing over the mission to the young Malaysian mini ambassadors during the launch of SSEAYP today, Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin said the annual cultural exchange programme was jointly organised by the Japanese government and ASEAN countries, including Malaysia, under the purview of his ministry.
"For this year's programme, I'm entrusting our participants with the task of discussing TN50 which is something different that can be shared with other youth from ASEAN and Japan," Khairy said.
"It's a good topic to be shared with other participants so as to show that Malaysia is not only giving a chance for the youth to share their aspirations, they are also determining the future of the country."
Also present at the launch was Japanese ambassador to Malaysia, Dr Makio Miyagawa.
Khairy hoped that the TN50 discussion will benefit all young participants in the international programme and the Malaysian goodwill ambassadors will take the opportunity to share the latest development in Malaysia.
The cruise involves 350 youth from ASEAN. It will set sail in Japan and travelling to Shihanoukvill, Cambodia; Bangkok, Thailand; Jakarta, Indonesia; and Port Klang, Malaysia; before returning to Japan.
Khairy said more than 1,000 Malaysian youth have benefitted from SSEAYP since its inception in 1974 and all of them have come back with deeper perspective of their foreign peers and understanding of other cultures outside their homes.
"I'm glad that Malaysia will be hosting all the participants of SSEAYP when Nippon Maru docks at Port Klang from Nov 30 to Dec 3," he said, adding that various programmes have been lined up to showcase the best of Malaysian cultures.
For the youngest Malaysian participant, Ainul Afifi Zafirah Mazlan, 19, being part of SSEAYP was a huge responsibility.
"Expectations are high. Even though I'm the youngest, I have to be on par with my fellow participants who are already working," enthused the KL lass who's a freshman at Universiti Teknologi Petronas.