YOUTH '08: The Launch

Dear faithful blog readers,

We’ve successfully launched YOUTH ‘08 on the 15th of November – kudos to the team who’ve been toiling endlessly for it.

The video of the ceremony

It was a day of good fun, too.

Me messing around with Juliana before the event commenced

For those who attended our launch, I extend my warm gratitude to you for supporting this event and its vision.

As YOUTH ‘08 is a by-youth-for-youth event, I am personally energized by the spirit of enthusiasm coming from the young people present at this event that day. On behalf of the team, thanks again for your presence and support. This only motivates us to work harder to provide you with better programmes in the future.

Me delivering the Organising Chairperson speech

Just to give you a heads on about what's going to happen during YOUTH'08, here is the speech.


I would like to extend my utmost gratitude to YB Dato’ Liow for being here today, supporting our programme ever since the first day the idea was proposed. As the organizing chairperson of a youth programme, it can never get any better than that.

As I share with you my sentiments on youths, I hope to spare you the corporate jargons and try not to make you doze off in your comfortable seats.

For the past eleven months, I have been working with my team on developing a platform for young Malaysians. We started with hopes to ignite the youth community in expressing themselves constructively.

Initially it was only YouthMalaysia, without the dotcom. Later on, we found out that the amount of time our youths spend online and how much of a silent generation we’ve become. So we decided, hey! Let’s take it online. I’m sure you know what I mean. Example: AirAsia… com?

I remember when we first introduced our beta site on January 19th 2007, we had ten thousands of hits daily within the first two weeks. It was very encouraging, because it was a lot for a site that hasn’t been launched at that point of time.

As we progressed, we realized that the ‘silent generation’ wasn’t so silent after all. We discovered a lot of inspiring talents out there who have constructive comments to share with our society. Now, they are regularly empowering our community to express themselves on our portal.

To-date, we stand with thousands of members who communicate with one another daily. However, I’ve got to say – once we slow down on the updates, these members will start to lose interest. It’s sad, but let’s face it – you can’t keep a youth glued to one thing for a very long time. They move along – fast – just like trends.

Which brings me to why we’re organizing YOUTH ’08 themed ‘We are the Trendsetters’. In a nutshell, YOUTH ’08 is Malaysia’s first youth lifestyle showcase. To be honest, it’s pretty surprising to me that nobody has attempted this before as there is much to tap from our ever dynamic youths.

Therefore, I’d like to thank the Ministry of Youth & Sports, and all our supporting partners for believing in us and giving us the opportunity to make that impact within our Malaysian youth community.

Coming to think about it, I am certain the regular Malaysian youth wouldn’t pass the chance to be a part of this mammoth gathering of youths, trendsetting the year along with leading youth brands. I’m sure the zero entrance fee would help, too.

With our youths being so constantly glued to their computers, this programme will effectively pry them apart from their computer screens to engage in healthy, trendy, youth activities together.
This is why we established the Malaysian Dotcom Youth Search, one of the many activities running under the YOUTH ’08 umbrella. We want to unearth those who spend all their time behind the computer developing those innovative, commercially viable sites, giving them recognition for those work.

You know, those technological whiz kids hiding behind screen names like dark_knight2000 or puteriampang87? I think it’s high time someone identify and attribute faces and names to them. Real faces and real names, not facebook that is.

YOUTH ’08 is in line with today’s youth lifestyle where they are the leaders of spearheading trends and beyond.

In the past, kids used to bombard parents endlessly with questions. Today, the roles have reversed. Parents demand time from their kids to teach them how to SMS and even connect to the Internet. I think all these goes along with keeping up with trends.

That’s what YOUTH ’08 is about.

It is undeniable that youths today are filled with great ideas, some even revolutionary. But let’s face it – most of these ideas don’t take off. Today’s youth entrepreneurs face different challenges in capturing the current market trend. Only few have successfully cross the mark and make it big in the scene.

The inaugural National Youth Entrepreneur Convention 2008, jointly organized with Malaysian Young Graduates Society (GRADUAN), will feature some of today’s most successful youth entrepreneurs who are taking their respective industries by storm.

As a youth speak to youth event, we believe that this Convention will prove beneficial for aspiring youth entrepreneurs as they not only get to share ideas with one another, but also meet current leading entrepreneurs, who are also present with us today – gaining inspiration from them.

In addition, I’m convinced that the youths will look forward to meet our panel of admirable youth entrepreneurs in person, instead of just seeing and hearing them onscreen.

Speaking of being onscreen, I appeared in Malaysia’s first corporate reality TV show, The Firm. Being the show’s youngest contestant, the fight was tough, but I believe that the 10 weeks worth of experience made me a stronger person.

People ask me, what do I gain out of winning this competition. The good news is, I am one car richer after The Firm. Bad news is, after 3 months, I am also richer with more grey hair. But it’s alright, because what I gained from winning The Firm is more than what meets the eye.

I’ve learnt so much from the people I met along this journey. To me, these values are worth much more than the car. Perhaps, as youths, we tend to take more risks. Or maybe, just ignorant to failure. Either way, the bottomline is: age is not a barrier to success.

Malaysia needs dynamic youths who are full of enthusiasm and idealism to make changes and progress for the country. Take a look around you….and you will see passionate, creative, driven young Malaysians who wants to make that difference in this country. That brings me to Project EYE, which stands for Empowering Youth Entrepreneurs; one of the key activities in YOUTH ‘08. Since we started 2 months ago, we have received hundreds of proposals of all sorts. Which was good, however these ideas needed a solid action plan. Therefore, we’ve developed guided mechanics for these young dreamers to get a glimpse of reality via some corporate exposure.

Youths today have high potential, just lacking proper guidance. Let’s face it. We can never tell a youth what to do. Rather, find out what they want to do and guide them towards success. This is what Project EYE is all about.

Just to share with you, recently won the Youth Friendly Company of the Year at the AYA Dream Malaysia Awards. Personally, I find it ironic receiving the award.
As I was giving the acceptance speech, I recalled the eye bags on my editor Joanne, the white hair sprouting on Michael’s head, the amount of computer keyboards lost due to my crews’ frustration while working on the web and many other foreseen circumstances. Maybe is not so youth-friendly after all. On the crew, that is. Before I wrap up, on behalf of the organizing committee, I’d like to take this opportunity to thank all individuals and organizations involved in YOUTH’08 for being so supportive towards this programme. Especially, the media for their help and support in providing publicity for the event.

As it is passion which drives us, it is our oath to continue the strive to make this programme a success for the Malaysian youth community, for the many years to come.

Thank you.


The launch, in itself, is a success. The best thing is, however, this is just the beginning.

If you didn’t make it for the launch, fret not. We’ve got more awaiting in line for you come January 18th at PWTC, KL. The line-up of activities running under the YOUTH '08 umbrella promises to be the most electrifying and mind blowing one.

So much so that even our youth entrepreneurs (who will be speaking for the 1st National Youth Entrepreneur Convention 2008) couldn't contain their excitement.

from right to left: Kid Chan, Timothy Tiah, Khai Lee and & Mia Palencia

See what I mean?


  1. Looks like great fun!! Too bad I'm not in KL..

  2. The event looks so kewl...keke.

    i love the speech too. :-)

    let us know when is your next event ya. we'll be there!

  3. i'm hooked. reading it back forth.

    the event looks great!

    looking forward -> Jan '08 it is.=)

  4. Congratulations on your launch! =)

  5. encik neoh, update laaaa.

  6. Joel,

    You've got something good going here! Great stuff! Chen Chow directed me to Youth Malaysia.


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  8. this event is cool, but I hope not only in KL.

    How nice if this event is throughout the year, not only in January.