Johor youths need to compete on international stage and go beyond being 'village champions': Caretaker chief minister
PONTIAN, Johor: A priority for the Johor government is to build a holistic education policy so that the younger generation can compete on the international stage and go beyond being “village champions”, caretaker chief minister Hasni Mohammad said on Wednesday (Feb 23).
Mr Hasni was speaking during an event in Pontian to present education aid to local school representatives.
He said: "Our desire and goal is to formulate a holistic education policy, an education policy at the regional and international level so that our students will be able to penetrate the job market in a field of knowledge in line with development and the times.”
“We want to develop successful youths so that they can compete with anyone,” Mr Hasni added.
The caretaker chief minister also stressed that as Johor is neighbouring Singapore, “a developed country”, this requires the southern state to develop a younger generation which is “competitive and not merely village champions”.
"Village champions" is a Malay term referring to people who are celebrated on their home ground but may not have as much clout on a bigger stage.
"I'm not sure about other states, but in Johor, it is a necessity. Especially since we are neighbours with a developed country. When we see our neighbours making achievement after achievement, we do not want to be left behind,” said Mr Hasni.
"We don’t want to just be a village champion cheering among ourselves, we want to be on top of the international stage,” he added.
Mr Hasni was chief minister of the Johor state government before the state assembly was dissolved on Jan 22.
The Johor state election will be held on Mar 12, with nominations to take place on Saturday.
Prior to the dissolution, Mr Hasni justified that his state government needed a fresh mandate as it only held a one-seat majority following the death of former chief minister Osman Sapian in December last year.
With Mr Osman’s demise, Barisan Nasional (BN) was in control of 16 seats while its coalition partners Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) held 11 seats and Parti Islam Se-Malaysia (PAS) had one.
The opposition Pakatan Harapan (PH) coalition, comprising Democratic Action Party (DAP), Parti Amanah Negara (Amanah) and Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR), held 27 seats.
Mr Hasni said that the election was necessary as the stability of the Johor state government was a prerequisite for investors and businesses to expand their operations in the state.
He will be leading the BN charge for the upcoming polls.