Last updated Saturday, October 25, 2014 06:10pm

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 13 — Minister Khairy Jamaluddin justified today Putrajaya’s RM1.6 million K-pop concert at last year’s National Youth Day celebrations as an acknowledgement of young people’s contributions.

The youth and sports minister said that the National Youth Day is the government’s “highest acknowledgement” of the contributions of youths, whom he described as an “invaluable asset”, to the development of the country.

“K-pop is a trend among the youths today, especially those from various backgrounds,” Khairy (picture) told Parliament here today.

“If we look at it from a positive aspect, the matter is an acknowledgement of the ministry and of the government who care about what they like. So they could see the performance for free,” he added.

The Umno Youth chief also said that Putrajaya was forced to pay the South Korean artistes because the ministry had failed to raise sufficient funds from private sponsors for the entire National Youth Day celebration in 2012.

Khairy’s predecessor, Datuk Seri Ahmad Shabery Cheek, is scheduled to testify on November 21 at the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) about the payment for the K-pop concert that had occurred under his watch, according to PAC head Datuk Nur Jazlan Mohamed.

National news agency Bernama quoted Ahmad Shabery, who is currently the communications and multimedia minister, last month as saying: “Let me be questioned. If I’m wrong, let me be accountable.”