Abdul Karim (centre) with Nancy (third left), Henry (third right), and others at the event.

BAU: Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah hopes that today’s youth will become competent leaders in the future, especially when it comes to running the state.

According to him, 43 percent of the population in Sarawak are made up of youth.

“Therefore, I would like to see more youth with high leadership abilities and critical problem-solving skills.

“Not only that, I want the youth to have a vision and understand the situation of Sarawak well,” he said.

He said this at the opening ceremony of a dialogue session with the youth in conjunction with Sarawak’s 16th Jelajah Belia programme at Kampung Skiat Baru here on Saturday.

He added that tolerance among the Sarawak youth should also be maintained, with mutual respect despite different religious and racial beliefs.

Abdul Karim, who is also the Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister, said that tolerance is very important to maintain unity and harmony in Sarawak’s multi-racial society.

Meanwhile, Abdul Karim understands that internet services is still lacking in rural areas, especially Bau, and is an issue that has been highlighted by the youth.

“I hope the youth in this area would be patient because Sarawak is a vast state and to bring development to this area requires sufficient time and funds.

“Nevertheless, the state government always arranges plans to continue to bring progress to Bau,” he said.

However, in developing an area in terms of internet network and roads, social ills are sure to follow.

“I hope the youth in Bau are not easily trapped by social problems such as drug abuse because it will destroy their future,” he said.

The one-day programme received a warm response from 25 youth clubs from the area.

Also present at the programme Youth and Sports Ministry permanent secretary Nancy Jolhi and Tasik Biru assemblyman Datuk Henry Harry Jinep.