A typical crowd of Malayan youth: all races, all ages: healthy, lively and on the whole well-behaved.
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Background: A typical crowd of Malayan youth: all races, all ages: healthy, lively and on the whole well-behaved. We should be thankful that our youth are not the problem they seem to be in almost every other country of the world.
This is a Malayan youth club, one of a large number of clubs that provide a healthy outlet for young energies - a happy alternative to hanging around street corners and possibly getting into trouble.
It's true that no all the youth clubs in Malaya are as well-equipped as this one - but given a bit more support from the public, they could be.
There's no set pattern about a youth club - it depends on what local interests tend to be or on the talents of available instructors.
Here's a Malay girls' club: they seem to be keen on doing useful things here, like making their own clothes, and embroidery and cooking.
Oh well, perhaps they don't need to worry about body building like the boys do.
This boys' club takes life seriously. They like to spend much of their time debating and discussing the problems of the day. They do like to play sometimes too - but today there's no stopping them until the debate's over.
This club does a bit of everything and is specially keen on gymnastics and building the body beautiful ... with some success, as these good specimens show.
But some clubs don't think only of their own enjoyment: like this club in a new village. Grateful to the people who helped them build their basketball pitch and clubhouse, they turn with good grace to doing up the old people's home.
They've got to do it properly too: critical eyes see that they don't get off too lightly - but when its done there's a pleasant sense of achievement.
Another group of club members responded to the appeal of the Blood Bank, which is always at a low ebb. Cheerfully they give back something to the community which has given so much to them - and with no loss of energy when its all over.
Still another club goes off to tidy up their Mosque: a self-imposed task of love that brings its own reward.
But to have good clubs there must be good leaders. Neither money nor smart buildings will make good clubs if there aren't the right people to lead. So the Government has been running a series of training courses for youth leaders. Here's an enthusiastic group from all over the country: teachers, clerks, mechanics; of all races, giving up their free time to learning the tricks of being good leaders.
And there's a lot they can learn. How to organise a club; to get it going from the start; how to teach club members to elect their own officers, drew up their rules and so on: the rather dull but basic part of running a club.
That over, the leaders polish up old tricks and learn a lot of new ones. This is the secret of a good club: to have a variety of activities, so that even the dullest member can find something interesting to do.
But there are not only hands and eyes to be exercised. Leaders practice the handling of debates and discussions; for lively debate, especially on current problems, if well-controlled, is one of the best ways for young people to let off steam.
At the end of the course the leaders have a lot to take away with them, including a certificate presented by Tunku Zaharah, the wife of the president of the Malayan Association of Youth Clubs. Tunku Abdullah.
And so they go back to their clubs all over the country, eager to pass on what they've learnt.
And now we see the results of good leadership: a club bursting with activity, and with scarcely room enough to contain it all.
These faces speak fro themselves, to show the pleasure and pride in making things.
This club is preparing for an exhibition of its work, timed to coincide with the nation's annual Youth Week.
Next door a class is learning Malay - and another is studying the mysteries of airless: for there's no end to the interests and pursuits of a well-led club.
Here's their work on display: a proud day for members when out only their parents and friends come to see what they've been up to all those evenings but then all sorts of distinguished people - like the Minister of Finance - come to see what they can do.
We hope he feels that the Government's contribution to youth work is money well spent.
Youth Week is celebrated all over Malaya. Here the Raja Permaisuri Agong, escorted by Tunku Abdullah, The M.A.Y.C. President comes to grace a concert given by several clubs to entertain some schoolchildren.
In the nation's capital, Youth Week comes to a grand finale with a jolly procession designed to draw attention to the M.A.Y.C. Led by the President himself (slightly disguised as a pirate) the procession certainly made Kuala Lumpur sit up - and also cough up, when it came to sending the hat around.
Oh well, it's all good clean fun!
And a reminder, if any is needed, that the country depends on its youth - not only for their gaiety, but for the future.