2010/08/04, By Shuhada Elis, firstname.lastname@example.org
KUALA LUMPUR: For almost three decades, his father was leading the Malaysian Association of Youth Clubs (MAYC) as its president. Last weekend, Akhramsyah, son of Tan Sri Sanusi Junid was elected its new leader, but at a time when the relevance of MAYC is in doubt.
Shazni Munir, chairman of Solidariti Mahasiswa Malaysia -- a 7,000-strong social movement platform, suggested that MAYC leaders visit universities more. Akhramsyah, 36, told the New Straits Times his first task was to elevate the stature of MAYC, insisting that youth organisations were still very much relevant these days despite the popularity of social networking sites. A previous problem for youth organisations was that they were led by senior politicians who were not exactly young.
Former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad suggested 10 years ago that MAYC should be led by a leader under 40. MAYC's annual general meeting last Saturday that elected him as president, was the first held in five years due to internal problems. It had to convene the Saturday meeting to avoid de-registration by the Registrar of Youth Societies.
Sanusi, a former menteri besar of Kedah and agriculture minister, first became president of MAYC at age 30, before handing over to Tan Sri Syed Hamid Albar in 2000. Akhramsyah said he has a very young team with some committee members in their 20s. "These are the second-liners who will lead MAYC someday," said Akhramsyah who is a retail corporation support manager.
International Islamic University Malaysia students' representative council president Muhammad Firwan Norliza said organisations like MAYC enjoyed name recognition but students did not know their role. "They must make their presence felt," he said. Akhramsyah reasoned that MAYC was not active in campuses as in the past because students were preoccupied by Rakan Muda programmes.
"But if there is demand, we will be interested to go into the campuses," he said, adding that MAYC was already in discussion with a few universities to engage with their student councils. Akhramsyah said he preferred the "pull" factor rather then the "push" factor and invited student leaders to get in touch with him.
He said MAYC was also active in Malay urban areas such as in Batu, Bandar Tun Razak and Segambut. "Our activities depend on areas, they can range from a gotong-royong to debate competitions and paintball."
Some 311 clubs are affiliated under MAYC. Members connect via Facebook while the MAYC updates its blog regularly at http://mayckebangsaan.blogspot.com. Akhramsyah said MAYC would also reconnect with the association's past leaders, including Dr Mahathir and Umno veteran Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah. He also assured that his team would be fully transparent and receptive to criticisms.
Among the newly-elected committee members for 2010-2012 session are deputy president Abdul Karim Mohamad, vice-president Intandiana Jalil and secretary-general Ahmad Ansor Muhd Rivai Batubara.
Read more: MAYC sees youthful rebirth http://www.nst.com.my/nst/articles/14son/Article#ixzz0vcZ8k4pj