PUTRAJAYA, Malaysia Aug 17() The Premier Fellowship Program gives an opportunity to the young generation to learn about ways of administering the nation and experience in becoming a leader, said Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

He said the 60 young people selected to participate in the program would be placed together with his cabinet members and it was hoped the program would churn out leaders who could adept themselves with the attitude necessary to become a leader.

Dr Mahathir said although Malaysia practised the democratic system that enabled anyone to become a leader, the success of the system would only be determined by the character of the leader concerned.

Democracy is not always good because if the leader is bad, then the democracy will also be bad.

As such, many things have to be learned by the young generation who may replace those who are already old and have the experience as leaders, he said in his speech at the handing over of the Premier Fellowship to cabinet ministers at Perdana Putra, here today.

Citing Youth and Sports Minister Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman, who is an alumni of the Premier Fellowship as an example, Dr Mahathir said the program might be able to churn out another young minister.

This is the time for young Malaysians, who have the aspiration, to be involved directly in the national leadership, he said.

Sixty graduates and undergraduates from selected local and foreign universities are participating in the program this year out of 542 applications received by the Youth and Sports Ministry (KBS).

They make up the sixth group of the Premier Fellowship who will be emplaced together with the cabinet ministers for six weeks to three months aimed at churning out youths who are dynamic, competitive and have the relevant experience regarding the cabinet system as well as the various aspects of leadership and national administration.

A law graduate from the University of Malaya, Leeroy Ting Kah Sing was among the fortunate participants who was emplaced with Dr Mahathir as the mentor.

The 24-year-old youth from Kuching, Sarawak said that before concluding his studies last month, he had served with the Institutional Reforms Committee set up by the government’s Advisory Council to implement reforms for key institutions in the country.

I will utilise this opportunity to assist the government in realising several proposals from the committee which had been submitted to the government, he said.

Dayana Najwa Jainon, 23, who will be attached to Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, said she was excited to be selected in the first group of the Premier Fellowship under the new government.

So, I want to see and be involved directly in implementing policies of the new government and if possible convey information on new policies to my generation, she said.

A third year student of the business administration faculty at Monash University Malaysia, Y. Laveenyah Preetha, who will be attached to Home Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, said such opportunity did not come easily especially for those who had yet to complete their studies like herself.

I am very excited to be placed together with him (Muhyiddin) especially as he had a very long experience in government administration, so I know it will be a very useful experience for me, she added.

Source: NAM News Network