2023 Budget: Huge challenge awaits youths
SHAH ALAM - The government through the 2023 Budget should provide more incentives for youths in the country who are expected to face great challenges due to the increasing cost of living.
Muslim Youth Movement Malaysia (Abim) president Muhammad Faisal Abdul Aziz said he believed that the current economic downturn and the increase in the prices of goods have an impact on the young generation to continue surviving.
"Today they may have income, but due to the high cost of living and the increase in the prices of goods, it causes them to be burdened and hesitant to spend," he told Sinar Harian on Wednesday.
Muhammad Faisal said the 2023 Budget also needed to provide allocations in dealing with climate change issues in the country related to natural disasters such as flash floods.
He said major flood disasters that occur almost every year throughout the country had also affected the economy and the lives of the community, including the youths.
“Floods happen almost every year. Not only in Kelantan, but also in Kuala Lumpur, Selangor and other areas.
"This issue involved the lives of the youths too. To them, it is as of the government has no specific plans to solve this problem.
"So, in the 2023 Budget, it is necessary to provide allocations to improve the existing system as well as a disaster mitigation plan and a long-term plan to maintain environmental sustainability," he said.
He added that the allocation in the 2023 Budget initiative also needed to include the aspect of job opportunities for the youths.
He said this would go hand in hand in solving the main problems faced by the young generation and ensuring their future was more secure in the long term.
“Our hope is for a sustainable, continuous and long-term budget especially for the youths,” he said.
Meanwhile, Malaysian Youth Council (MBM) assistant secretary-general Muhammad Abu Kadir Mubarak Ali said the 2023 Budget which will be tabled on Oct 7 needed to focus on efforts to increase the guarantee of employment opportunities for youths especially university graduates.
He said the initiative to help the young people enter the job market required implementations of long-term programmes.
He said existing training programmes such as the Short-Term Employment Programme (MySTEP) were only short-term plans and unable to provide job guarantees to graduates.
“Such training programmes are short-term which is between six months to a year. However, after completing the training programme, it is still difficult for them to get a job even though they have experience.
"So, we recommend the government to initiate a job guarantee programme by focusing on long-term placements.
"This is because we have trained and incurred high costs to provide training and salaries for these graduates. But after completing the training, they have no job opportunities that are guaranteed," he said when contacted.
Thus, he said the 2023 Budget should provide encouragement to companies in the country including government-linked companies (GLC) and government-linked investment companies (GLIC) to absorb graduates as employees.
He said it was estimated that there were approximately 30,000 graduates produced in the country and ready to enter the work field.
He added that the government also needed to introduce a more holistic social protection for young people, including those who worked in the gig economy and freelance sectors.