THE Department of Youth and Sports would like to respond to the concern raised about the participation of expatriates working in Brunei Darussalam in the ongoing Brunei Darussalam National Games or Sukan Kebangsaan Brunei Darussalam (SKBD). We would like to thank the writer “Disappointed Father and Sports Fan” for his observations expressed in the Borneo Bulletin dated December 3, 2014 and for appreciating Brunei Darussalam’s sports development as a whole.
The Department of Youth and Sports would like to congratulate athletes from four districts and agencies, the biggest ever since the inaugural Sukan Kebangsaan Brunei Darussalam (SKBD) in 2012.
This is only the second time that the Department of Youth and Sports with full support of the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports is hosting these games in the three districts of Brunei Darussalam. The current format of the games is the elevated version of the earlier National Sports Festival or Pesta Sukan Kebangsaan (PSK), which allows the participation of foreign athletes (expatriates) that only constitute 25 per cent of team events in order to bring about more competitive edge among the athletes.
The Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports while exercising its National Sports Policy has integrated both Sports For All and Sports for Excellence when staging the Sukan Kebangsaan Brunei Darussalam, which is clearly depicted in the conduct of the games. Moreover, the earlier Pesta Sukan Kebangsaan was serving the following objectives under these two main policy pillars:
– To continuously support long term sports development project under the Youth and Sport Department supported by the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports.
– To raise the quality of sports and enhance the development of sports as a whole in Brunei Darussalam with the collaboration and support from various sports agencies, national sports associations as well as the private sector.
– To encourage the large population of sportsmen and women of all ages in Brunei Darussalam to practise sports and be active sportspersons.
– To encourage the population to have an active and healthy lifestyle that focuses on the development of mind and physical wellbeing through participation in sports.
– To act as a platform to identify new talented and potential athletes of all ages to represent the country in the future.
– To create a platform for our local athletes to compete and prepare to participate in regional and international competitions.
In view of the above policy directives, Sukan Kebangsaan Brunei Darussalam (SKBD) provides a very competitive national level platform and an ideal opportunity for all Bruneian athletes from a vast majority of sports to get a challenging exposure for performance assessment and talent identification while competing against the best local and foreign talent residing in Brunei Darussalam regardless of their status and nationality.
Simultaneously, it gives an excellent opportunity to all national sports federations to train their technical human resources and capabilities to a higher credible level in anticipation of hosting and organising much larger international sports events in Brunei Darussalam in years to come.
Being a nation that believes in peace, harmonious coexistence with tranquility and thrives to achieve sports excellence, it also directs its focus in promoting solidarity and friendship as a policy directive of the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports when organising events such as SKBD.
This has been reciprocated for a number of years in the past by the regional countries and states where Brunei Darussalam has been participating in their national level sports competitions like Malaysian National Games (SUKMA), Sabah Games (SAGA) and Teluk Danga Games with the aim to bring people from the region closer together through sports and Sukan Kebangsaan Brunei Darussalam provides yet another avenue for such noble interaction.
This participation presents an excellent example and opportunity for bilateral friendship and solidarity through sports among regional neighbours and Brunei Darussalam.
We would like to annotate a quote from a speech of Pehin Orang Kaya Pekerma Laila Diraja Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Hazair bin Haji Abdullah, Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports at the opening ceremony of the recently commenced Sukan Kebangsaan Brunei Darussalam “ …. In this Sukan Kebangsaan Brunei Darussalam, athletes do not just participate but participate with serious preparation that aims to raise the standard of achievement of the Sukan Kebangsaan Brunei Darussalam itself…”.
The Department of Youth and Sports wishes to present its case in light of the issues raised by the writer and hopes it would bring better understanding of the facts among the general public and the sporting community in Brunei Darussalam. The department always welcomes such constructive views, and ideas and appreciates the comments.
– Youth and Sports Department
Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports