| Abdul Hakiim Yakof |
TO STRENGTHEN our defences, we must remember that we are the children of the nation of Brunei, strong in Bruneian character, respectful of our elders, faithful to the commands of Allah the Almighty, obedient to our monarch, and trustworthy to both our society and country.
Deputy Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office Dato Paduka Awang Haji Abd Wahab bin Juned yesterday highlighted this in his speech during the closing of the 11th Civic Village Programme held at Stoneville Hotel in Bangar, Temburong District.
The five-day programme saw 39 government scholarship students participating in religious, communal, cultural, leadership and nationhood activities, which aimed to instil in them the spirit of patriotism and the Malay Islamic Monarchy (MIB) philosophy.
The deputy minister underlined the importance of nurturing civic awareness and solidifying the Bruneian identity.
“Only when we boast civic awareness that is bold and resilient, can we appreciate the importance of society and carry out our responsibility towards this cause. Through this responsibility, we will be able to face and understand, in-depth, the needs and rights of a society,” he said.
Strong awareness and deep exposure to civic responsibilities will produce quality leaders, he added.
“No matter the knowledge or skills gained from universities (in or outside the country), this alone is not enough. For our roles and responsibilities to be effective in society, it should be in the context of experience, knowledge and appreciation of the community itself,” the deputy minister said.
“Secondly, we shouldn’t think that knowledge is everything… that we can simply execute our roles and responsibilities without looking into the context of the community. For example, we cannot depend entirely on intellectuals with no experience in their practice,” he added.
He suggested looking for knowledge anywhere, and experiencing changes – as long as they do not go against the lifestyle of the Bruneian community, and guarantees a bright future.
“Government scholarship holders are one of the groups expected to remain on-target with the principles of communal life in the Sultanate because they are the leaders of tomorrow.
“By principle and capacity, scholarships are limited facilities for limited groups of students and the numbers chosen are according to the existing objectives and conditions. What is clear to us is that according to the level of progress in this country, government scholarships are highly competitive in terms of selection of candidates. This cannot be disputed unless we want to see our standards drop. The government’s desire to constantly improve our standards is a thing that matters,” he said.
The deputy minister advised students keen on obtaining government scholarships to prepare themselves academically and to meet the other requirements.
“Meanwhile, students who have successfully obtained government scholarships should constantly reflect and ensure they are in a strong position to not be distracted by outside culture and unhealthy practices,” he said.