5th Young Leaders’ Programme Report

30 young Malaysians coming from different ethnic, social and tertiary-level educational backgrounds participated in this 5th Young Leaders Programme held in Selesa Resorts, Bukit Tinggi, Pahang from 17 to 20 August 2006.

This 5th Work camp’s theme was “Youths: Freedom and Responsibility”. Various topics such as those mentioned below were developed to attain the objectives of creating awareness and providing the platform for open discussion for the participants.

The topics:

Overview of Freedom of and Responsibility

Freedom: Article One from the Universal Declaration of Human rights.

Freedom: Icons from History and contemporary times

Freedom and the relationship to Power

Freedom and Youth: A panelist of young leaders from previous Work camps.

Expression and Limits

Case studies of Freedom and Responsibility

Transparency and Accountability

Freedom and the challenges of choice

Inner Freedom

Freedom and the Other

Other means like painting and clay modeling workshops, outdoor activities, open discussion and sharing were built in to enhance and encourage interaction among the participants.

Testimonies from four participants:

I learnt how to inter-relate with other races, getting to know the boundaries and relationship between freedom and responsibility. I also understand now what is needed to attain and maintain freedom. I found out more now what it really means to be a Malaysian and how lucky we are.

I’ve learnt about looking at things in different ways and dimensions. I’ve also realized that I’m in a very privileged position of power and hope where I can do a lot to make a difference in this world. I’ve also learnt that freedom is not so much on exercising our rights, but in respecting and appreciating other people’s rights as well.

I’ve understood that there is still hope for the multi ethnic groups in Malaysia to live happily and loving each other in this country. I’ve realized that I have a big role in promoting peace in this country. I felt again the feelings that I have when I’m in school – we are a harmonious country.

I learned to be more critical in my analysis and I gained a totally new perspective regarding certain issues such as the role of linguistics in propagating discrimination and distortion. The new perspective gave me an enriching experience in this camp and hopefully the education does not stop here for me.