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Today Online, 4 Jul 05
M'sian youth get first taste of HDB life

The Straits Times, 5 Jul 05
'Water' way for youth to boost Causeway ties
By Zakir Hussain


Channel NewsAsia, 4 Jul 05
80 youths participate in Singapore-Malaysia Youth Camp
By Pearl Forss

SINGAPORE : The Singapore-Malaysia Youth Camp is in its 10th run this year. And 80 youths from both countries are taking part in the Outward Bound camp at Pulau Ubin in Singapore.

Officiating the event were Malaysia's Deputy Minister of Youth and Sports, Datuk Ong Tee Keat and Dr Vivian Balakrishnan, Singapore's Minister for Community Development, Youth and Sports.

The camp is being held over a 10-day period and the youths can look forward to adventurous team building activities such as rock-climbing and trekking.

The youth camp was initiated by former prime minister Goh Chok Tong in 1991 to strengthen bilateral ties and promote friendship and mutual understanding between youths of the two countries.

For the first time this year, the camp will also include a homestay for the Malaysian youth participants, where they get to experience staying with Singapore families in Housing Development Board flats.

Today Online, 4 Jul 05
M'sian youth get first taste of HDB life
by Jasmine Yin

LIVING in a high-rise Housing Development Board (HDB) flat is nothing new to over 80 per cent of Singapore's population, but for 22-year-old Kamalhazrizan Kamarun, it is a novel experience that she is anticipating with trepidation and excitement.

"I am so scared about staying in the HDB flat because it is going to be a new experience for me," she said. "I wonder where I am going to stay and what it is going to be like." Ms Kamalhazrizan, who hails from Selangor, is one of 40 young people from Malaysia who are in Singapore to participate in the 10th Singapore-Malaysia Youth Camp.

The camp was first mooted by then-Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong in 1991 to foster friendship between youth from both countries as a way to boost bilateral ties. Organised by the National Youth Council, the camp is on from June 30 until July 8.

Minister for Community Development, Youth and Sports Vivian Balakrishnan officiated at the formal start of the camp with Malaysian Deputy Minister of Youth and Sports Ong Tee Keat yesterday.

Besides the first-ever one-night home-stay for the Malaysian youth with Singaporean families living in HDB flats, camp participants including 40 Singaporean youth will engage in outdoor sports such as trekking and kayaking, and make a visit to the Esplanade.

Yesterday, Dr Balakrishnan expressed surprise that only two of the 40 Malaysian participants had visited Singapore. Urging the youth to develop friendships that would last beyond the duration of the camp, he said: "We should continue to promote more of such exchanges ... as these help to enhance understanding among the younger generation in our two countries.

"It is this type of informal and intuitive understanding of each other that provides the glue for closer business, social and political ties."

The Straits Times, 5 Jul 05
'Water' way for youth to boost Causeway ties
By Zakir Hussain

THE two ministers who were at the 10th Singapore-Malaysia Youth Camp couldn't just give their speeches, chat with participants and leave.

Instead, not long after arriving at the Outward Bound School on Pulau Ubin, they grabbed an oar each. Together with eight camp participants, they rowed a boat out to sea to board a cutter named Semangat, or Malay for spirit. More participants accompanied them in a dozen kayaks. Malaysians and Singaporeans of various races, they had known one another for only a few days but were able to co-ordinate their strokes.

On Semangat, Dr Vivian Balakrishnan, Minister for Community Development, Youth and Sports, and Datuk Ong Tee Keat, Malaysia's Deputy Minister of Youth and Sports, unfurled the camp banner and set off a gust of confetti before returning to shore.

This year's camp, which brings together 40 Malaysian and 40 Singaporean participants between the ages of 17 and 25, began on June 30 and ends this Friday. Initiated by then-prime minister Goh Chok Tong in 1991, the event aims to strengthen ties and promote friendship and mutual understanding between the youth of both countries.

Organisers hope more can be done to build upon these ties.

'The very fact that we have managed to sustain interest in this programme speaks volumes for our resolution to extend our cooperation and collaboration to cover more meaningful exchanges in the near future,' Datuk Ong told participants.

Added Dr Balakrishnan: 'The next step for youth organisations is to also look for ways to collaborate directly. Don't always wait for the ministries to tell you to ... meet.'

A veteran of three such camps, Mr Ng Guang Yong, 25, who works in a tour company, agrees. 'I've really enjoyed myself and missed my Malaysian counterparts,' he said. 'We have pretty much the same culture, and not much difference except for the land.'

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