'It's not easy being the PM'

SERI KEMBANGAN, Malaysia - Ahmad Yacqub Nazri became "prime minister" for four days - and learnt that it is no easy task.

The 30-year-old who served as head of the "ruling government" during the four-day Youth Parliament trial-run, described his experience as "amazing" but challenging.

"My responsibilities were to chair 'Cabinet' meetings and oversee each 'minister's' role.

"The experience gave me new respect for our Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak. My only role as 'PM' was to chair meetings, and that alone was challenging enough," said the businessman from Penang who became the 'Jelutong MP" during the trial session which ended on Friday.

He could not take part in the actual Youth Parliament due to the age limit.

Ahmad Yacqub said the experience has also fuelled his ambition to become Prime Minister someday.

"I want to become PM so I can serve the people," he said when met on the last day of the trial run, which concluded with a dialogue between the 'Parliament members' and Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Shabery Cheek.

A total of 211 youths were selected to participate in the trial-run after applying online for a spot.

The trial session also saw discussions on several current national issues including the minimum wage and the National Higher Education Fund Corporation (PTPTN).

The Youth Parliament, which is set to be implemented at the end of this year, aims to provide an avenue for youths to give their opinions and discuss national and youth-related issues.

It is an initiative of the Malaysian Youth Develo­pment Research Institute.

Ahmad Shabery said the trial run was a success but added another one might be held to fine-tune some details.

"This was a valuable experience and we will definitely try to bring the Youth Parliament into session at the end of the year."

An online election system, he added, would be set up for those who want to run for the Youth Parliamentary seats.

"Everything will be done online; from the campaigning process to the voting," he said, adding that more details on the Youth Parliament would be announced soon.

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