KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia, The year 2017 marked the beginning of the journey of National Transformation 2050 (TN50), with the organisation of a series of engagements and discourses to trigger the people's aspirations that will shape TN50.

The TN50 journey began on Jan 19 with the Premier Dialogue, inaugurated by Prime Minister, Najib Razak, at Universiti Malaya, in Kuala Lumpur, that drew an attendance of over 1,000 young people of various levels and backgrounds from around the country.

Addressing the gathering, Najib said, the discourse approach was chosen because he wanted TN50 to be a continuation of the preceding 30-year policy, to be shaped with the people's vision, as the future of the nation belonged to the youths of today.

"So, we have a dialogue tonight but I will not make any conclusion. The process needs to run. When we have gathered all the views and inputs of all the people, we put them together and shape the TN50 vision.

"So, tonight, the TN50 journey begins," he said.

In addition to the session with youths, the series of dialogues held at various levels brought together target groups, among them women, corporate figures, authors, scholars, academics and civil servants, and gathered the views of more than 1.5 million young Malaysians and received more than 80,000 pieces of community aspirations throughout the year.

Deputy Prime Minister, Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, who is also the Home Minister, also steered the TN50 dialogues, among others at Universiti Sains Islam Malaysia, where issues pertaining to education, the economic situation, religious institutions, racial unity and religious extremism dominated the session.

To get an insight into the aspirations of the young, Youth and Sports Minister, Khairy Jamaluddin, and Women, Family and Community Development Minister, Rohani Abdul Karim, attended a session with about 500 children, where inputs were gathered for the government to focus on the issues of mental health of children, their safety and the future of children with disabilities.

Dialogues were also held overseas, including in London and the Philippines, where Foreign Minister, Anifah Aman led the discussions, to gather an understanding of the aspirations of Malaysian diaspora abroad.

The Malaysian diaspora in the Philippines wanted the government to strengthen the identity of Malaysians and emphasised the importance of inclusive and non-racist national programmes and policies.

In line with the TN50 approach and principles, to get the inputs of the people, each of the dialogues demonstrated the professionalism and calmness of the Prime Minister and members of his Cabinet, when listening to various questions, ideas, complaints or criticisms raised by the audience.