Dato’ Sri Abdul Wahid Omar: Malaysian Youth Must Adhere to Standards of Excellence and Use Rukunegara as Guiding Principles in Life

A globalised world. Job scarcity. Rising costs of living. Increasing environmental concerns. An uncertain future.

What lies ahead for Malaysian youth and how can young Malaysians be best prepared to thrive in the future?

This is what the eighteenth Perdana Discourse Series was about. Themed, “How Can Malaysian Youth Best Prepare for the Future?”, the Discourse this time around featured Senator Dato’ Sri Abdul Wahid Omar, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, as the keynote speaker. Senator Dato’ Sri Abdul Wahid Omar, well known for his business and economic views, shared his thoughts on how Malaysian youth can best prepare for the future and took questions from the audience.

Dato’ Sri spoke at length about the New Economic Model, the importance of Rukunegara as values for young Malaysians and the nine challenges of Vision 2020. He reminded the audience that the past, though important, does not determine the future and that present actions can influence one’s destiny. Dato’ Sri encouraged all young Malaysians to adhere to standards of excellence in work and to always refer to the values of the Rukunegara when making decisions. He elaborated on the principles of Rukunegara and reiterated that abiding by its principles would ensure that Malaysians stay on the right moral and ethical path while pursuing success. During the question and answer session, Dato’ Sri expressed confidence that Malaysia will achieve the goals of Vision 2020, though admitted that the non-financial goals of that Vision pose more of a challenge than the economic metrics. 

Dato’ Sri also officially launched the new website of Perdana Leadership Foundation,, one that promises an interactive interface, more engaging content and with an easier search function to allow access to the hundreds of thousands of documents the Foundation has collected.

On the importance of youth to the nation, the Executive Director of Perdana Leadership Foundation, Tan Sri Nik Mohamed Nik Yaacob, stated in his welcome remarks: “Today’s discourse is timely because there appears to be many issues out there in the open that will significantly impact the wellbeing of our nation. And our youth need to be prepared to face these issues, as they will be the ones to shoulder the progress of the nation when the current leaders of this generation are long gone.”

Also at the Discourse was the Vice Chancellor of Universiti Teknologi MARA, Tan Sri Dato’ Professor Ir. Dr. Sahol Hamid Abu Bakar.

A panel discussion was held following the keynote speech, discussing the points raised in the keynote. Panellists were Encik Nazril Idrus, entrepreneur and financial educator; Encik Dzameer Dzulkifli, Co-Founder and Managing Director of Teach for Malaysia, and Ms Chew Hoong Ling, organ donor and member of the National Youth Consultative Council. Dato’ Dr Hamzah Kassim, who heads the IA Group, acted as the moderator.

Members of the 200-strong audience consisted of students and academics.

The Perdana Discourse Series debuted in August 2004 when the Foundation’s Honorary President and the fourth Prime Minister of Malaysia, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, discussed the inaugural topic of “National Unity”. Other Discourses dealt with subjects such as National Sovereignty, Media and National Development, and Political Stability. The Series aims to foster interaction and dialogue between older and younger Malaysians on issues of national importance, such as unity, social re-construction and education. Discussions and issues arising from the discourse are documented and published.

The Perdana Discourse Series is sponsored by PROTON Holdings Berhad.

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