By Yasmin Latif
GOMBAK, 9 August 2017: Three IIUM students will be among a total of 28 talented youths who have been selected to represent Malaysia in the Ship for Southeast Asian and Japanese Youth Programme (SSEAYP 44/2017) from October to December this year. They are Muhammad Iqbal Rosli from Kulliyyah of Islamic Revealed Knowledge and Human Sciences (KIRKHS), and Roy Haiza Adellah and Ahmad Syazwan Abdul Gani from Ahmad Ibrahim Kulliyyah of Law (AIKOL).
The SSEAYP is an annual diplomatic and cultural exchange programme sponsored by the Japanese government with support and cooperation of the governments of ten Southeast Asian countries with the objective to promote friendship and mutual understanding between the youths of Japan and their counterparts in the emerging countries.
More than 330 youths from Japan and 10 ASEAN countries – Laos, Cambodia, Thailand, Philippines, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Brunei, Vietnam, and Myanmar – will have the opportunity to travel and live together on board the ship “Nippon Maru”.
According to Muhammad Iqbal, they needed to face several tests as part of the screening process before they were selected. The tests included evaluating their mental capabilities and testing their skills on language, speaking, leadership and debating, as well as their diplomatic and critical thinking skills. They also attended an interview session with officials of the Ministry of Youth and Sports which required them to answer questions based on the given topics.
“Current and social issues such as Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations, issues of governance, 11th Malaysia Plan, and Transformation National 50 (TN 50) were among the topics asked by the interviewers.
Only 28 youths were selected out of 150 youths. Alhamdulillah, the three of us managed to be among the 28,” said Muhammad Iqbal.
The youths are also required to undergo training to equip themselves mentally, emotionally and physically before departing to Japan to begin their journey on board the ship. They will be having camp-training for three to four days until October. This is called Pre-Departure Training (PDT) given by knowledgeable and skilful facilitators.
“We will be trained in various areas such as public speaking, press and media handling, culture, arts, economic, and social. There will be discussions on youth role and diplomacy, physical activities, and flag-cheers,” Muhammad Iqbal said.
To achieve the objectives of the programme, a series of activities are being lined up, including institutional visits and home stays in participating countries, group discussions, cultural presentations, and other goodwill exchanges.
They will start their journey on 23 October and end on 13 December 2017. The programme provides them with the unique opportunity to sail together on board a cruise ship and visit several ASEAN countries and Japan over a period of 50 days.***