Re-empower Scout movement

SCOUTING should be made more attractive to youths as one way to counter the Mat Rempit social problem.

Chief Minister Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon said scouting was a good movement for instilling discipline in youths.

Dr Koh, who is also State Scouts president, said young people were ‘interested’ in speeding, if not on their scooters and motorbikes, then it would be in their cars.

“Scouting instils discipline so it is a good way to counter this social problem of Mat Rempits,” he told newsmen after launching the Scouts Association of Malaysia, Penang’s 49th Jamboree on the Air (Jota) and 10th Jamboree On the Internet (Joti) recently.

Also present were the Scouts International Com-missioner Jauhar Mohd Yassim, acting State Scouts Commissioner Zulkafli Kama-ruddin and State Scouts Council working committee chairman Teng Chang Yeow.

Dr Koh said participation in the scouting movement had suffered a decline in the past decade nationwide due to competition from other uniformed associations in schools.

“Scouting was the only uniformed movement sanctioned by parliament 30 to 40 years ago.

“Now, with stiff competition from many other uniformed societies in schools, the scouting movement must rise to the challenge to attract more youths,” he said.

Dr Koh called for the scout movement to be ‘re-empowered’ in conjunction with the 50th anniversary of Jota, 100th anniversary of the scout movement, Visit Malaysia Year 2007 and the 50th national day celebrations next year.

He called on the council working committee and the commissioners to meet and get the views of veteran scouts on how to re-empower the movement and organise more activities to attract youths.

Later when asked by reporters on his anticipated meeting with Penang Umno Youth to hear out the latter’s grouses, Dr Koh declined to reveal when the meeting would be held.

“We have met during buka puasa events and had chatted. Let bygones be by-gones and let’s move on to the future.

“What is more important is that this is now the time to celebrate Deepavali and Hari Raya together,” he added.

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