| Siti Hajar |
YOUTH involvement in the country’s development is set to take an expected leap forward as the nation’s Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports readies itself to introduce reviews in the National Youth Policy that ambitions to produce well-rounded leaders.
In an interview with the Bulletin yesterday, on the sidelines of the closing of the Brunei Youth Forum, Deputy Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports, Datin Paduka Hajah Adina binti Othman, explained that since the policy was introduced 12 years ago, “It is now time for us to review its content.”
With six strategic areas that aim to inculcate and reinforce Brunei with national values and tenets incorporated in the State Constitution and in the National Philosophy of Malay Islamic Monarchy the policy will also include ideas from contributing youth, explained the deputy minister, and called for more youth participation to realise this goal.
“Our youth today are brimming with ideas and it is our hope that they will provide us with their input,” she expressed, and called for the country’s next generation of leaders to come forth via the ministry’s social media platforms to share their thoughts on the approaches the National Youth Policy should adopt.
As she shared that though not all ideas will be included in the policy, she did encourage that input will be taken into thoughtful consideration so long as such ideas lie within the scope of national interest.
With the government now looking towards forming a culture that includes participation from the younger generation, she also shared that authorities are now seeing a higher participation by youth in community work organised by the ministry, with social media being the catalyst to this encouraging change in the younger generation’s outlook on national involvement.
“Social media is definitely helping with the ministry’s drive to get the younger generation to participate in the activities that we organise,” with a recent activity advertised on Facebook garnering the attention of an approximate 200 youth volunteers, which she described as a very positive trend.
In her speech as part of the closing ceremony, Datin Paduka Hajah Adina defined Youth with Vision as those who possess qualities that are in line with the country’s Vision 2035 including those who are competitive and skilled without losing focus on the importance of religion.
“These are the youth that we need to develop our beloved nation,” she said.
Apart from increasing youth participation here at home, the deputy minister had also noted the country’s international achievements through youth contributions including volunteer work in neighbouring countries through programmes such as the Asean Young Professional Volunteer Corps (AYPVC) that first took root last year.
“This is a positive indication for the country especially when the youth have a sense of belonging and ownership especially for peace and for the future of the nation,” she said and noted that international participation by local youth indicates their concern for those not just within the country.
“This is also a reflection of confidence among Brunei’s youth and their awareness. And despite their youth, they are able to make the necessary changes in their own lives.”