The Malaysia Future Leaders School (MFLS) was created according to the principle of the Japan Future Leaders School but adapted to the Malaysian landscape, said Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
The prime minister said the programme is aimed at instilling leadership qualities and good values among the youth in order to strengthen and harness their potential to be great leaders in the future.
“What determines success is the adoption of good values by someone or a race until it becomes a way of life for a race. Our hope is that by instilling good values while they are still young they will practise it and make it their way of life,” he said when launching the MFLS at Universiti Malaya today.
Also present were his wife Tun Dr Siti Hasmah Mohd Ali and Youth and Sports Minister Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman.
Mahathir said values of the Japanese people would be inculcated through MFLS to mould future leaders with a strong personality in the aspects of integrity, inclusiveness, excellence, volunteerism, responsibility, competitiveness and community spirit.
“For example, workers in Japan are meticulous in carrying out their duties for the sake of producing high-quality products or services. This ‘meticulous’ culture has become part of their daily life and is not only reflected in their work,” he said.
“The recipe for success for the Japanese and South Koreans is based on discipline, loyalty to the country, priority for society, emphasis on quality, and the regular practice of positive values in their daily life."
Dr Mahathir said, as such, the Look East Policy was relevant although it was introduced 37 years ago in 1982.
He said the shaping of mindsets and inculcation of values among the youth today were different from that for the previous generation because then the sources of the values were traditional and conventional, like parents, teachers, religious education and civic lessons.
“Today, the sources of values are diverse. Apart from the traditional sources I mentioned, the rapid development in information technology has opened up various avenues and penetrated the minds of all strata of society, especially the young generation," the prime minister said.
“Some of the younger generation prefer to refer to the internet and social media without the need to do some research first.”
He also admitted that young people nowadays are fond of playing online games which can influence them and shape their personality.
Therefore, MFLS was introduced as a way to respond to the challenge of the Industrial Revolution 4.0 to ensure that the youth could use and handle modern technology positively and effectively, he said. - Bernama