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YES 2009 Draws Attention, Involvement of Thousands

Online Movement and Upcoming Malaysia Event Reflect Desire for Obama-Inspired Change Throughout Southeast Asia

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia, Oct. 23 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- More than 325,000 young people throughout Southeast Asia have joined an online community that is expected to grow to more than 1 million in the weeks leading up to the Youth Engagement Summit (YES 2009) November 16 and 17, 2009, at the Putrajaya International Convention Centre (PICC) here (www.yes2009.asia).

"Their message of the need for positive social change - very much the kind of message articulated and advanced by President Barack Obama - serves as an inspiration to all of Southeast Asia," said YES 2009 Organizing Chairman Harmandar Singh. "It's a message that will resonate not only during this event, but with our region's political and business leaders for years to come."

Mr. Singh added that as excitement builds for YES 2009 and the release of the Southeast Asia for Change (SEACHANGE) Youth Report (http://yes2009.asia/seaforchange.html), which will detail that message of change, he had several important developments to announce:

  • Over the past week, YES 2009's Twitter activity has doubled, its Facebook activity has risen as much as 400%, and YES has increased the number of youth partner organizations in the region by 20, to more than 100. "Our young, ambitious and dynamic participants are eager for positive change in their lives, countries and world -- and are using the power of social media to express those hopes and dreams," said Singh.
  • YES 2009 will be simulcast from Kuala Lumpur via satellite to giant screens set up at major universities in Jakarta, Bangkok, Manila, Ho Chi Minh City and Manila, reaching an estimated 150,000 youth who will watch the event simulcast on giant screens in those locations. Singh said he expects millions of others will watch YES 2009 on the Internet, via live online streaming.
  • Several newly announced speakers will address YES 2009 participants, including Long Yongtu, China's former vice minister of trade; Yashwant Sinha, former Indian finance minister; and David Magliano, former London Olympics 2012 director of marketing.

About YES 2009

YES 2009 will be the first gathering of its kind in Asia, uniting representatives of young people aged 15 to 35 from Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand, Philippines, Vietnam, Laos and Brunei. In addition to the 6,000 summit participants expected in Kuala Lumpur, more than 150,000 will witness the proceedings through satellite link-ups to giant screens set up at five leading universities across the region, and countless others will watch on CNN International or via live web streaming.

The landmark two-day event, expected to kick off with an opening address by Malaysian Prime Minister Datuk Sri Najib Tun Razak, will feature a superb line-up of speakers from various fields, including Sir Bob Geldof, the founder of Live Aid; world chess legend Garry Kasparov; Biz Stone, co-founder of the micro-blogging network Twitter; Nando Parrado, whose miraculous survival of an plane crash in the Andes became the basis for the critically acclaimed movie Alive; and Malaysia's own Tony Fernandes, who pioneered the domestic and international low-cost carrier phenomenon in Asia by spearheading AirAsia and AirAsia X.

YES 2009 organizers are rallying more than one million people between the ages of 15 and 35 years, to share their thoughts by taking part in an online survey to produce the SEA For Change Youth Report. The survey and report allow participants to take a proactive role in sharing their needs, motivations, expectations and ideas with the world at large, and guiding political and business leaders in to engage more effectively with the youth market. More information is available at www.yes2009.asia.

This material is distributed by Global Communicators, LLC, on behalf of Sledgehammer Communications.

Additional information is available at the Department of Justice, Washington, DC.

SOURCE YES 2009

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