KUALA LUMPUR: The Prime Minister launched the Dana Belia 1Malaysia on Friday, Jan 21, with a grant of RM20 million, targeting at Malaysian youths to undertake projects with a multiplier effect while focusing on nurturing unity in the country.
Datuk Seri Najib Razak said the thrust of the fund was to equip the youth with a platform to express their hopes, ideas and creativity through projects which promote unity.
"I see Dana Belia 1Malaysia as a programme to engage our young Malaysians on their viewpoints of celebrating, promoting and uniting the different cultures and ethnic groups in line with the 1Malaysia spirit," he said.
The fund is provided by the government-owned strategic development company 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB), of which he is the chairman of the board of advisers.
"It (Dana Belia 1Malaysia) will be a channel for young Malaysians to participate, be engaged and empowered to make a difference in their communities and within our country, thereby helping to create a progressive and developed Malaysia," said Najib.
Dana Belia 1Malaysia is targeted at Malaysians between the ages of 15 and 40 and the fund is to finance their projects where the theme is "Nuturing Unity". The funds will relieve them of the additional burden of sourcing for financial support.
The fund, which is part of the 1MDB's corporate social responsibility, must focus on three criteria, which are focusing on nurturing unity in Malaysia, multiplier effect on the general community and be led by young people.
Najib, who will head the evaluation panel for the Dana Belia 1Malaysia, said the fund also underscored the government's focus on young people who have an important role in nation building.
The grant will be available by application to youth organisations and registered non-governmental organisations promoting youth development. DB1M will accept proposals from all categories that focus on youth development and unity.
The thrust of 1MDB's corporate social responsibility is also to improve the quality of life through creating opportunities for Malaysians from diverse background to move up the value chain.