Malaysian youths should debate policies with facts, not emotions

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The writer Dharishaan Vengadesan (left) with youth leader Kishva Ambigapathy.

Dharishaan Vengadesan meets youth leader Kishva Ambigapathy, who believes in the enormous potential of the growing number of youths.

Coming from a developing nation, virtual unknown Kishva Ambigapathy could have been easily dismissed when he was nominated as chairperson of the Commonwealth Youth Council.

His move to contest for the position raised eyebrows among many locals. But here we are, witnessing history being carved with a Malaysian not only helming the Commonwealth Youth Council (CYC) as chairperson but awarded the opportunity to become the royal mace bearer on Commonwealth Day.

Kishva happens to be the founder and former chairmperson of the Young Professionals Bureau in Malaysia.

Speaking to Kishva, when he was back to Malaysia on a visit, he briefly elaborated on his responsibility of reaching out to youths from 53 nations. Kishva’s role as CYC chairperson includes creating an effective communication strategy between the council and all delegates besides representing the council in international platforms.

Kishva, a Chevening scholar undertaking his Masters of Science degree in global politics at Durham University, believes his studies form an integral part of and complements his journey in the council. An engineer by profession, Kishva says the only difference he feels is the shift from cables and trains to policies, design and youth-centred development.

Delving deeper into the Malaysian context, Kishva observed that Malaysian youths are facing many challenges, with a shallow mentality and identity crisis topping them.

Citing examples from his personal experience of having witnessed elections in both the United Kingdom and Malaysian, he said Malaysian youths should start debating policies with facts rather than emotions especially at a time when we are seeing more political debates.

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When asked why investing in young people is critical and crucial, Kishva spoke passionately about his belief that the potential of ever-growing number of youths is huge.

There are more young people in the world than ever before, creating unprecedented potential for economic and social progress. Young people make up more than 60 per cent of the population of some countries that are already witnessing the ‘youth bulge’.

Kishva flies back to London to continue his term as CYC chair. On behalf of all Malaysian youths, I wish him all the best in his endeavours.

Dharishaan Vengadesan, an undergraduate with a local university, belongs to the Young Professionals Bureau, a youth-led group involved in youth development activities.

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