| Azlan Othman |
BRUNEI Youth Council President Prof Madya Dr Hj Hashim bin Hj Abd Hamid yesterday highlighted the need to churn out more local experts in the areas of the economy, strategic-planning and culture, and to not rely on foreign consultants to execute projects here.
“It is sad to note that we have produced over 8,000 graduates but still we hire foreign consultants,” he said at yesterday’s launch of the Brunei Youth Forum at the Youth Centre in the capital.
He later emphasised the need to nurture among Bruneians the ‘walk the talk’ attitude and to lead by example, adding that, “We should also produce leaders of tomorrow who are loyal to the nation and the government.”
Prof Madya Dr Hj Hashim was pleased to note the participation of local Chinese at the forum.
Meanwhile, in a panel discussion on ‘Youth and 2035 Vision – Challenges and Opportunities,’ Atikah Rumaizah binti Dr Hj Harun, President of Youth Association (PEMBELA), noted that in the academic perspective, youth should understand the National Education System, using it to guide them forward.
“One should strengthen his skills and such skills should match job needs, livelihood and the community. One should also not easily lose hope – instead, seek ways to enhance one’s capabilities.
“Youth possess characteristics to perform extraordinarily and with full commitment. They should kick the habit of wasting time, uphold the dignity of a family institution and not dilute national culture.
“One should also enhance skills in Information Technology and embrace the cyber world to produce something that is beneficial,” she said.
She also encouraged local youth to engage in the construction industry, a field monopolised by foreign workers.
Meanwhile, another panelist, Human Development Association (KESAN) Secretary Nurrizzatul Izzah Hj Abd Rahman noted that our youth are the leaders of tomorrow and that several young leaders already hold government positions.
“Our youth should identify their strengths and niches, and strive for something that benefits the future,” she said, citing examples that included the founders of Google and Facebook, who are young and ambitious.
Fitness Zone/Energy Kitchen Chief Executive Officer Wu Chun, another panelist, urged youth to get acquainted with positive people, work hard and to not lose hope easily.
“You should not be reluctant to work part time. You learn something while doing a job, feeding you knowledge for the future,” he said.
The forum, organised by the Brunei Youth Council with support from Yayasan Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah and Nur Wanita, saw the participation of over 80 youth.
Themed ‘Developing Strategies Towards Youth Engagement in Nation Building,’ the forum aimed to provide a platform for broader understanding on issues and challenges faced by Brunei youth; seek common challenges and recommendations identified by youth; build mechanisms to follow up on previously addressed challenges and recommendations, and establish networks among youth.
Said Khairunnisa Ash’ari, the project director, “There is a shift in the way youth consider their roles in society. All over the world, youth are taking on a more proactive role in the development of their country.”
“Brunei is no exception. We need to give more space for young people to find and develop their cause, to give them a chance to express their ideas, guide them and show them that they are able to execute these ideas. Youth are no longer just beneficiaries – they should be allowed to be actors and partners in the youth development agenda.”