Iskandar Malaysia, 28 December – The recent launch of ‘Tunku Mahkota Ismail Youth Centre’ (TMIYC) by His Royal Highness Tunku Ismail Ibni Sultan Ibrahim, Tunku Mahkota Johor, is expected to further promote and elevate the youth empowerment agenda in Iskandar Malaysia.
“We wish to congratulate His Royal Highness for the launch of the youth hub, which is located in Hutan Bandar Johor Bahru. As a region that values and believes in the importance of youth empowerment in its development, we trust that His Royal Highness’ interest, aspiration and leadership in Johor’s youth agenda will boost the development of young Johoreans, specifically, and Johoreans in general,” said YBhg. Datuk Ismail Ibrahim, Chief Executive of Iskandar Regional Development Authority (IRDA).
The youth hub was completed in July 2020 and IRDA is thankful that Majlis Bandaraya Johor Bahru (MBJB) has graciously taken over as the new management for the ‘Tunku Mahkota Ismail Youth Centre’ from 17 December 2020 onward.
For Datuk Ismail, the youth hub is something very dear to the heart of Iskandar Malaysia. IRDA started the construction of the youth hub in 2015, after getting the nod from the Johor state government and the fund from the Federal government, in support of Iskandar Malaysia’s social inclusiveness agenda where youth is one of the crucial community group in the development of the region. “The youth hub is a manifestation of youth empowerment in a physical form – a place where the youths can benefit, grow together as partners of Iskandar Malaysia and be developed as future leaders “
“Various federal and state government agencies and especially the youth community in Iskandar Malaysia were very much involved with the ideation. design and construction of the youth hub from the beginning and I cannot express how much we appreciate their involvement and assistance to make this youth hub a reality,” added Datuk Ismail.
The youth hub, called the ‘Johor Youth Hub’ at the time of conception and located in lush greeneries, is envisioned to be the place empower the youth focusing on lifestyle, creativity, entrepreneurism and volunteerism. The facility is a platform to gather, educate, engage and network, of which the components are selected and designed together with the local youth community to achieve its objectives.
During the course of its design and construction, His Majesty the Sultan of Johor and His Royal Highness Tunku Mahkota Johor were given briefings and IRDA would like to record its highest appreciation for the support, comments and views on the facilities by the Royal Highnesses.
When it was softly opened in 2017, more than 6,000 visitors visited and utilized the various facilities offered at the youth hub where more than 4,500 youths were involved and participated in various youth programmes at the venue in that year alone.
The youth hub is an important piece of Iskandar Malaysia’s youth development strategy. Operating under the ‘HAB’ brand, the strategy focuses on crafting and executing many youth development programmes to complement the national and state youth agenda in collaboration with various agencies and stakeholders which covers aspect such as infrastructure development, capacity building, mindset change, employment and entrepreneurship, and others.
Apart from the youth hub, some of the key programmes include Pusat Orang Desa Iskandar Malaysia (IMPOD), Iskandar Malaysia Youth Empowerment Fund (IMPOWER), Johor Student Leadership Council (JSLC) and Youth To Biz (Y2B).
Over the last two years, for example, more than 5,000 youths have been positively impacted by programmes under IMPOD, IMPOWER and Johor Youth Hub.
IMPOWER is a special youth grant that empowers the younger generation to implement programmes and initiatives that will enhance the quality of life of the local community. It has provided financial assistance amounting to RM1.8 million, for the past 2 years, to empower 42 youth groups to carry out programmes that support youth development and inclusiveness.
When it comes to creating enterprising youth, Pusat Orang Desa Iskandar Malaysia (IMPOD) is an effective learning platform for rural youth communities to increase their standard of living through entrepreneurship, which also acts as a place to disseminate information on available opportunities in the region. This RM1.72 million project is still engaging youths in 6 different villages around Iskandar Malaysia.
More on youth entrepreneurship, Youth to Biz (Y2B) is a grant which increases youth participation in entrepreneurial endeavours, especially in new and trendy conceptual businesses. For 2 years in a row, more than RM2 million has been and is still being given out creating more than 80 new entrepreneurs amongst the youth.
The Johor Student Leadership Council (JSLC), a collaboration between IRDA and the Johor State Education Department (JPNJ), which aims to develop students to become the future leaders to face the challenges of globalization and be primed with the requirements to spur economic development in Iskandar Malaysia. To date, 146 students have been trained under the programme and they, in turn, have organized more than 40 programmes involving over 2,000 students. Among the JSLC alumni, many have scored top scholarships in Malaysia and held top student leadership positions in universities while some have had the opportunity to speak at various youth-related events and programmes.
Datuk Ismail concluded, “With so many youth programmes and initiatives at hand in the state of Johor, this youth hub will be a piece of the puzzle that will fittingly complement these efforts. Looking at the various challenges facing youths nowadays, and the many opportunities too, His Royal Highness has picked the right time to officially launch the venue and its beneficial facilities.”