PETALING JAYA: Asean nations should try to develop their own programmes or initiatives to empower their youths instead of participating in those set up by other countries, said Youth Academy chairman Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah.

He added that presently there are not many programmes or initiatives coming from Asean countries for their youths although there was some progress in the academic field.

“Currently, the most sustainable and popular regional programme for Asean youths is the Asean Youthship Programme developed and run by a Japanese philanthropist and its government or the Young South East Asia Leadership Initiative – a brainchild of US President Barack Obama.

“From here we can clearly see that there is not one single programme or initiative that is established and run by any of the Asean state members,” he told reporters on the sidelines of the 2015 Asean Youth Forum Malaysia today.

The Youth Academy is a civil society organisation dedicated to empowering policy and holistic youth development programmes.

He said it was important for Asean to develop their own programmes so that the youths would be able to learn to think and act on their own.

He also suggested that there should be more consultation and involvement of youths in any regional Asean matters or national decision making. –newsdesk@thesundaily.com