KUALA LUMPUR - The Prime Minister says voluntary and non-political youth movements can help educate young people and improve their potential.
Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said in a world of many challenges, such groups, including the Scout movement, serve as a platform to equip the young with skills and tools they need to thrive.
"We are always looking to improve youth education. Through various ministries like Youth and Sports, we have comprehensive and integrated programmes that continuously provide formal and non-formal education.
"Encouraging more Malaysians to join the Scout movement is part of our strategy," he said at the opening of the World Scout Bureau Kuala Lumpur office.
The office serves as a shared service centre for the global operations of the World Organisation of the Scout Movement, which was previously located in Geneva.
Najib described the Scouts - with over 40 million members in 162 countries - as an important voluntary movement that operates regardless of gender, origin, race or creed.
Scouting, he said, was more than just camp fires, jack knives and learning to tie a reef knot, but also about educational experiences.
"The very mission of scouting is to contribute to the education of young people; to develop their full emotional, intellectual, physical, social and spiritual potential.
"It is a movement that is dedicated to bringing out the best in people, helping the young develop ethics, values, leadership skills and civic consciousness," he said.
World Organisation of the Scout Movement secretary-general Scott Teare said Kuala Lumpur was chosen from a list of seven cities as the new office and described it as a welcoming, diverse and vibrant city.
"With every trip here, I cannot resist making the connection between the movement and Kuala Lumpur. Both embody a unique representation of modern life, driven by young people who are animated by strong values," Teare said.