The Malaysian government has launched a RM20 million (US$6.54 million) youth fund called Dana Belia 1Malaysia, designed to support Malaysians aged 15-40 in projects that promote the 1Malaysia national unity and development program.

Prime Minister Najib Razak said the fund would engage and empower young Malaysians to make a difference in their community and create a progressive and developed country. Of particular interest are community-based development and support projects, environmental programs, and other art, sporting and cultural events.

Dana Belia (Youth Fund) is part of strategic company 1Malaysia Development Bhd’s (1MDB) corporate social responsibility program, and PM Najib will personally head the project evaluation panel.To be eligible, a project must demonstrate a commitment to national unity, involve people within the age bracket, and have a multiplier effect on the community at large. 1Malaysia is a government initiative to forge a common Malaysian identity by recognizing and utilizing the unique skills of Malaysia’s different ethnic groups.

sources & articles: The Edge Malaysia, Dana Belia homepage