- Published on Thursday, 27 July 2017 12:16
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Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s ICT Adviser Sajeeb Wazed Joy has urged the youths to vote for the Awami League and motivate others to vote in the next general election for the continuation of 'ongoing development'.
He also asked them to be 'confident and capable' and to try to do something for the country.
Joy was attending an interaction session with a group of youths in Dhaka.
Citing the example of Malaysia’s longest-serving prime minister Mahathir Mohamad, Joy said, "Malaysia managed to come to the current level of development as his party was in power for four consecutive terms.”
He compared development activities carried out by the Awami League government with the BNP tenures by saying: “The Awami League comes to power for development while the BNP only wants power."
Awami League-backed think-tank Centre for Research and Information or CRI organised the interaction under its ‘Let’s Talk’ programme in which it connects youths with politics and policymaking.
The youths who are mostly students from different universities asked questions about issues tied to IT development, infrastructure, politics and traffic jams.
Joy’s call to the youths came at a time when the Awami League has begun its preparations for the upcoming elections slated to be held at the end of the 2O18.
Of the 100 million voters, there are estimates that around 35 million are youths.
“For youths, we have only one message. We want to take the country forward. And for that you have to vote for the Awami League again,” Joy said.
“It is Awami League who delivered on its promises.”
“You can see the results. Development has taken place everywhere. There is no alternative to voting Awami League”.
Taking questions, he highlighted Awami League’s achievements in different sectors.
On Digital Bangladesh, he said: “We have achieved more than we dreamt of. Nobody could imagine that we’ll be able to do this. We exceeded out targets that we never imagined”.
He thanked all the ministers and officials for this achievement and said “they carried forward the works that we wanted to do”.
“But the future is endless. The land record digitalisation will be a major breakthrough. We hope that by next year we’ll be able to digitalise the land record system.”
“There was nothing before the 2009 when the Awami League came to power,” he said, adding that they will also take fibre-optic cables to the village level for increasing the internet speed.
“Before 2009, could you imagine Bangladesh would be second as an outsourcing country? Nobody thought then, but we did it now.”
If Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman had not been killed in 1975, the Awami League could have stayed in power for 20 years, according to Joy. “Then Bangladesh would have been Malaysia today.”
Joy blamed the BNP and its founder Ziaur Rahman for holding back Bangladesh.
Replying to a question on Dhaka traffic, he said the government is also working on that. “All the flyovers you can see have been built by the Awami League government”.
“We are working on building elevated expressway, metro-rails and bus rapid transit. We have expanded roads,” he said, once implemented, the situation would improve.
He, however, suggested schools and colleges introduce buses for the students to prevent private cars on the streets.
He said the government had mega projects such as Padma bridge, Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant, Rampal power plant, LNG terminal, and underwater tunnel in the Karnafuli river as those were needed for the country.
“It also shows that we can do it. It shows Bangladesh has the capacity now that we did not have before”.
He also took a dig to Rampal power plant critics and said those who talk negatively about the Rampal project, they should know the fact. “It is 65 kilometres away from Sundarbans. It's measurable. You can measure that.”
“Why will the Awami League government take a project that can harm the country?” he asked amid applauds.
He also criticised Bangla newspaper Prothom Alo and English daily The Daily Star for not being objective.
“I do not read Prothom Alo, Daily Star,” he said when a student drew attention to a Prothom Alo story.
He said the prime minister was in jail due to the “conspiracy” of Prothom Alo and the Daily Star. “The Daily Star editor Mahfuz Anam admitted that,” he said, referring to a recent talk-show where the editor admitted that he printed “unverified” contents on Sheikh Hasina during the 2007-08 military-backed caretaker government.
He also asked local Awami League leaders to counter propaganda against the government by upholding the development activities to the people.
“We have started paying attention to the elections,” he said.
“Be confident,” he told youths, “if you have confidence, you can overcome all the challenges.”
“We want today’s youths to be the meritorious and capable generation in future. You have to have the confidence that no one can suppress you”.
He also encouraged them to teach their parents how to use technologies. “I help my mother when she finds any difficulty in using emails and phones”.
He said he believes that Bangladesh can do quality works. “When I buy any clothes from the US market, I search for ‘made in Bangladesh’ because I know those will be quality products”.
He said the criticism against the new child marriage law was “not fact-based”.
“We, in fact, made the law stricter, not easier,” he said, “We could not enforce the law before. Now we can enforce the law”.
“Only parents consent would not be enough to marry off an under-18 girl. A magistrate has to be convinced for that purpose, which you will not find in any country,” he said.