TANJUNG MALIM, Dec 8 — Students can be critical of the government, but they should not let their emotions influence their actions, said Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob.
Instead, the Prime Minister said the students should express their opinions, especially relating to government policies, based on facts and solid evidence.
“When student leaders came to see me, one of the questions they asked was whether or not they can be critical of the government and I told them they can, that it is not wrong.
“But, what’s important is that each critical statement must be accompanied by facts and that they are not just being emotional. This is important because they represent the group of people who we have allowed to vote and elect the next leaders of the country,” he said after launching the Keluarga [email protected] initiative at Universiti Pendidikan Sultan Idris here today.
Present were Minister of Higher Education Datuk Seri Noraini Ahmad and Perak Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Saarani Mohamad.
Ismail Sabri said the government had also recognised the roles of the young people in the country by approving the implementation of Undi18 (the 18-year-old voting age) despite disputes from certain quarters.
“Many are still sceptical about the government’s decision in the issue as the 18-year-olds are still deemed too young and naive to decide about who should lead the country.
“However, the government is confident with their ability and want them to decide who deserves to become their leader,” he said.
As such, the Prime Minister said, starting Jan 1, all who have reached the age of 18 will be automatically registered as voters in the formation of government and in deciding the future of the country.
At the event, Ismail Sabri also announced the setting up of the Keluarga Malaysia Research and Education Centre in UPSI to lead research activities and promote the concept of Keluarga Malaysia.
He said the setting up of the centre was apt as UPSI was also known as the leading institution that brings changes in the development of education.
“It is my hope that the centre will be able to institutionalise ‘Keluarga Malaysia’ into a hub of research, education, training and knowledge hub among Malaysians.
“I’m very optimistic that with the creativity, innovation and strategic collaboration involving various quarters, the centre will be able to play a significant role significant in improving and further promoting the concept and efforts to cultivate the values of enrichment of Keluarga Malaysia,” Ismail Sabri added.