KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin today said that it is high time for ASEAN to be more people-centric instead of continuing to focus on government diplomatic relations.
He said that the transition was important as it would not only allow the people of ASEAN to further understand about the grouping, but would also determine the way forward in shaping better bilateral relationships among ASEAN countries.
“It is important for ASEAN to be associated with their people because ASEAN is, after all, home for them to which there is a sense of belonging inside them.
“ASEAN needs to be an association of the people who have great understanding of ASEAN,” he said after witnessing the signing of letter of ceremony between his ministry’s MyCorps, and the renowned United State volunteer programme, Peace Corps, at Putra World Trade Centre here today.
Meanwhile, Khairy said the signing of the letter marked the formalisation of the relationship and continuation of cooperation between MyCorps and Peace Corps, which began last June.
He said MyCorps, a voluntary programme, would help produce more young volunteers, instill a sense of empathy among the public and develop leadership skills among youngsters, while serving the communities.
“We want to give a bigger perspective of the world to our youths as the world today is grappling with the challenge of extremism and world events have shown that we are lurching dangerously into an abyss of violence,” he said.
Khairy pointed that to date, more than 1,000 volunteers had signed up for MyCorps since its launch last week and 40 volunteers would be participating in its pilot project in Cambodia next month.
The MyCorps programme is an initiative of the ministry, spearheaded by its Extraordinary People Impacting Community (EPIC), a body which provides a platform focusing on human capital development through experience.