Anwar interacts with youth in the prog “Temu Anwar”.

KUALA LUMPUR: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim (Picture) held a roundtable discussion with thousands of young people today as part of the “Temu Anwar” dialogue program, answering countless questions in a relaxed and open manner.

In the almost two-hour broadcast, Anwar answered dozens of inquiries on current topics such as job opportunities, health, education, transport and the economy.

The country’s leader also spent time meeting the various attendees who wanted to take selfies, and some even invited him to their Aidilfitri open house.

One of the issues raised at the meeting related to the difficulty of entering the public sector, to which Anwar explained that the Public Service Commission (SPA) would open vacancies if there were any vacancies.

“If all graduates worked (in the public sector) it would ‘swell’ the public service. I’ll give a very realistic, not necessarily popular, answer, but that’s the truth. Can we continue to expand regardless of needs and financial constraints?

“SPA is like a company. If it takes 400 people, (then) 400 people,” he said at the program, which was also attended by Minister of Communications and Digital Fahmi Fadzil at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre.

Anwar said job opportunities in the public sector would increase if the country was able to boost the economy.

He said that’s why the government is also focusing on strengthening Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET), which opens up opportunities for graduates to enter the private sector equipped with the technical skills acquired in the program alongside higher salaries.

Asked whether there is a need to create a remuneration scheme for those who take part in practical training (internship), the Prime Minister said that since the principle of practical training by the company is voluntary, the matter needs to be looked into.

“…but I think it’s unfair to companies that can afford not to at least not pay for their food and travel expenses and not to burden the family.

“When I was in opposition I also had an internship program and in fact we paid to at least provide food and transport and relieve them,” he said.

Regarding the Universities and Colleges Act 1971 (UUCA), Anwar said that although the government said it would not be repealed, some provisions of the law restricting the freedom of students and faculty would be removed.

Organized by the Anwar Ibrahim Club (AIC), the dialogue program was led by celebrity Amelia Henderson and attended by more than 5,000 youth. -Bernama Anwar interacts with youth in the prog “Temu Anwar”.

Tom Vazquez

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