PUTRAJAYA: The Perdana Fellows Programme is a golden opportunity for the younger generation to experience for themselves the complexity of running the country, said Datuk Seri Najib Razak.
The Prime Minister said the programme provided invaluable experience to the participants who sat with key policy and decision makers of the government.
“When we were students in university, we thought running the government was simple. When you become a member of government, you realise it’s not as simple as it looks from the outside.
“Running the government is challenging. It’s complex but it’s rewarding because you are able to make a difference in the lives of Malaysians,” he said at the handing over of 2017 Perdana Fellows at the Perdana Putra building here today.
A total of 85 local and foreign university students and graduates were assigned to their mentors, namely Cabinet ministers and the Chief Secretary to the Government, for between six weeks and three months.
Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin and Chief Secretary to the Government Tan Sri Dr Ali Hamsa were also present at the event.
Najib said participation in the Perdana Fellows Programme was an invaluable experience and the participants must take that golden opportunity to widen their experience.
“It’s not the years of experience. It’s the nature of the experience that matters. One year or a few months of experience here may be worth six years of experience outside,” he said.
Najib said the experience of participating in the programme would be an asset for the participants in their resume.
“When you are chosen as Perdana Fellows, you are already considered as part of the young talent base for the future. Each of you has exceptional quality, that’s why you have been chosen.
“If you want to join a business school or a multinational company, you can say I was a Perdana Fellow. If you want to join the government, it will be an advantage,” he said.
Najib said the Perdana Fellows Programme was very useful as it reflected the commitment of the government to appreciate the role of the millennium generation in the country.
“The rise and fall of a nation depend on its talent base. We must create a variety or programmes and structures so that the millennium generation becomes the talent base.
“Through this programme, we can expose them to the mentoring process and sharpen their leadership,” he said.
Najib said this year’s participants were required to write an essay on the 2050 National Transformation (TN50) so as to get them to provide some inputs.
The Perdana Fellows Programme is an initiative of the Youth and Sports Ministry to create dynamic and competitive youths with relevant knowledge about the Cabinet system and national leadership and administrative aspects.
The programme, which was launched in 2013, has so far created 403 young dynamic leaders. – Bernama