KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia--Newly-minted Deputy Minister of National Unity Wan Ahmad Fayhsal Wan Ahmad Kamal thanked Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob for the opportunity to serve the people in his new role.

Wan Ahmad Fayhsal said he would work towards integrating the Keluarga Malaysia concept into his new portfolio, leveraging on his experience in the Youth and Sports Ministry to better empower and unite the country’s youth.

“I would like to express my appreciation and thanks to the Prime Minister himself for his trust and confidence in appointing and acknowledging a youth leader like me to be part of the current administration, and especially giving me this important portfolio that has the ability to garner unity, and also stabilise the country in these difficult times,” the Bersatu Youth Chief told INS.

“So, I hope I can play an important role by assisting my minister, a very senior lady who understands Malaysian politics, and also the government itself, and hopefully I can rally our youth to focus on things that unite and bind us as a nation. So I think it is high time for Malaysians to unite as the Prime Minister himself has echoed under the banner of “Keluarga Malaysia”. So I'm very happy and glad to be a part of this machinery.”

Wan Ahmad Fayhsal will serve as deputy to Halimah Mohamed Sadique who has returned for a second stint to head the portfolio.

The National Unity and Integration Department was under the Prime Minister’s Department before being made a fully fledged ministry under former prime minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin in March last year, with Halimah serving as its first minister.

Among its stated goals are to preserve, maintain and enhance inter-ethnic and inter-religious ties among the country’s diverse population including carrying out research and study on the ties between communities with the purpose of ensuring harmony.

Malaysia’s demographics are chiefly made up of the ethnic Malays who comprise over 60 percent of the country’s population along with a large minority of ethnic Chinese, Indians and various groups from the East Malaysian states of Sabah and Sarawak.

Islam is the country’s official religion and the religion of a majority of its people but a number of other beliefs are practiced among its peoples including Buddhism, Hinduism, Christiniaty and other traditional beliefs.