Media statement

For immediately release

5 January 2015

Special programme on national unity open for application

The Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs (IDEAS) invites youths and young professionals aged 20 to 30 years old to apply for a special National Unity Youth Fellowship Programme.  The programme is run by IDEAS together with the National Unity and National Integration Department (Jabatan Perpaduan Negara dan Integrasi Nasional, JPNIN) at the Prime Minister’s Department.

The Youth Fellowship Programme aims to develop and support a group of 20 young leaders by providing them with the skills and knowledge to be champion the moderation and national unity as envisioned in the Rukun Negara “mendukung cita cita hendak menjamin satu cara hidup liberal terhadap tradisi-tradisi kebudayaannya yang kaya dan berbagai corak.”. 

Explaining the the Youth Fellowship programe, IDEAS chief executive Wan Saiful Wan Jan says: “We invite Malaysian youths and young professionals aged 20 to 30 years old to apply for this programme.  Working with the National Integration Research and Training Institute (Institut Kajian dan Latihan Integrasi Nasional, IKLIN) at JPNIN, as well as other partners, we will select 20 youths with potentials to be future leaders and help them to be advocates of moderation.  The Prime Minister has repeatedly said that he envisions a united 1Malaysia but lately there has been a rise of illiberal divisive voices.  It is about time we do something on this issue.  Even though the project is relatively small, we hope we are contributing towards a positive end.”

Mr Ho Khek Hwa, Director of IKLIN, adds: “The 20 Youth Fellows will undergo a specially developed programme to help them become more effective champions of moderation and national unity.  We will take them through a nine months training programme consisting of workshops, meetings and visits to various places across the country.  We will arrange for them to meet with community and religious leaders so that they can get a more accurate picture of the state of national unity in the country.  We will also train them with organisational and leadership skills, as well as give them up to date knowledge on the theories behind integration and moderation.  The Youth Fellowship programme is an exciting programme and I urge youths of all races and religions to apply for it.”

The Youth Fellows will go through three training workshops in which they will be trained on important skills such as strategic planning, organising, messaging, and advocacy.  They will also be given basic exposure to topics like integrity, ethnic and religious relations, nation building, economics, globalisation, radicalism, and other relevant issues.

In addition, there will be eleven engagement roundtables in which the Youth Fellows will meet directly with community and religious leaders in different parts of Malaysia to get first hand exposure of the real issues on the ground.  The programme will culminate with a national conference on national unity in September 2015.

In order to apply, candidates must fulfil the following criteria:

  • § Malaysian citizen, aged between 20 and 30 years old
  • § Able to attend and participate actively in all activities
  • § Able to travel to different parts of the country
  • § Proven youth leadership record
  • § Committed to the value espoused by the Rukun Negara

The 20 selected IDEAS Youth Fellows will receive:

  • A certificate of completion at the end of the programme
  • Training and development support as scheduled
  • Fully paid travel and accommodation to all official activities
  • Support to build their network of contacts
  • An allowance totalling RM1000

To get more information and to apply, please visit

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