CM’s words of wisdom to the youth of Sarawak

By Patricia Hului
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A youth trying to take a wefie with Adenan.

“Why would you invite a 71-year old man into your company? I was at your age half a century ago,” that was Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Adenan Satem’s opening remark during Forum Belia Tegas 2015 held at Borneo Convention Centre Kuching (BCCK) on Nov 21.

Despite acknowledging himself to be ‘too old’ to be with the 1,000 youths who attended the forum, Adenan still managed to draw their attention, never short of humorous remarks which made the crowd respond with laughter and cheers.


Adenan believed that a multi-racial political party will exist in the future.

The highlight of the forum was the Q&A session where the youths took the opportunity to bombard the Chief Minister with questions.

In response to whether it was time for Sarawak politics to move away from race-based parties, Adenan believed that while a real multi-racial party would represent the people of Sarawak, “it will not happen in my time.”

He had high hopes in the youth of Sarawak, believing that our racial unity would bring a new change to the future political scene.

“I think youngsters today would see it become a reality during their time in the future.”

One young man asked him how Sarawakians could become first-class citizens during this age of information technology where too much information could lead the youth astray.

“When I was about your age 50 years ago, information was very limited. We can go find info by reading some books. When we did not have books we went to the library.”

The chief minister said he did not think access to information was bad.

“You must know what to read and what not to read because there is so much rubbish out there. You must be able to know how to distinguish what is good and what is bad.”

He said that today, books weren’t the only source of information but also radio, television and the Internet.

“You have access to all of this information therefore the youths of today are more informed than the youths of my time,” he said.

“With that situation, young people must be liberal in their attitude but that does not mean you can do anything you want, no. You must be open-minded, be open minded to challenges after challenges.”


One of the youths standing up to ask Adenan a question.

When asked about his thoughts on Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (Unimas) not recognising the Chinese school Form Six certificate – the Unified Examination Certificate (UEC) – Adenan answered: “We recognise UEC because it is recognised by all universities throughout the world and in Malaysia except for public universities.

“Secondly, we keep on losing talents because they cannot continue their studies here. They are then grabbed by Singapore and other countries. Our talents have gone overseas.

“Thirdly, the so-called Chinese schools in Sarawak are not attended by Chinese alone. There are many so-called Chinese schools dominated by Bumiputera.

“I believe they need to rethink this attitude in the years to come and be realistic.”


Adenan during Forum Belia Tegas.

His final advice to the youth was, “I cannot tell you what to do, but whatever you do, do it well.”

He reminded the youths life is not a bed of roses.

“You have the capacity to overcome any obstacles if you have the character and determination,” Adenan said.


A group of youths in front of a stylised portrait of Adenan.


Meanwhile, AZAM Young Souls, Azam’s youth volunteers were also there to put up a show called AYCLive (AZAM Youth Central Life) during Forum Belia Tegas.

The show had local young talents such as Imaginasi Buskers, the Nakama Band, Asyraf Hardy, Ir Radzi, Sasha Ningkan, Zah Amirul and Razali Sa’at.

AYCLive also held a mini flea market selling clothing, sports merchandise and many others.

There was also exhibition on Score, an education and art exhibition, a Walk of Fame Gallery showcasing Sarawak youth icons such as Pandelela Rinong, and Hafiz Suip.

The forum was conducted by Sarawak Bumiputeras Technical Education Promotion Charitable Trust (Tegas).

Also present during the event were Assistant Minister in Chief Minister’s Department (Promotional and Technical Education) and Tegas chairman Datu Len Taliff Salleh, Assistant Minister of Community Services Datuk Peter Nansian, chief political secretary to chief minister Abdullah Saidol and Balai Ringin assemblyman Snowdan Lawan, who is also Tegas treasurer.



Art exhibition by local talents during AYCLive.



Youths admiring the artworks exhibited.



One of the performers during the AYCLive.


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