| Hakim Hayat |
A NEW permanent training camp for the National Service Programme (PKBN), which is under construction in the Temburong District, is projected to generate economic spin-offs that will contribute to the socio-economic development of the quiet district once the project is completed by mid-next year.
Following an inspection on the progress of the $26.59 million project, which is situated on a 40-hectare site in Mukim Batu Apoi yesterday, the Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports Pehin Orang Kaya Pekerma Laila Diraja Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Hazair bin Haji Abdullah told reporters that the new training camp, which can accommodate up to 700 trainees at one time, will draw more people to visit the district, especially the families of the trainees who are allowed to pay a visit once a week during the 13-week training.
Dubbing the new building a new landmark for the district, he said the influx of PKBN trainees and visiting family members will in turn contribute to the district’s socio-economic development.
“Thousands of family members visit their children every week at the current temporary camp and these numbers will double once the training is conducted at the new training camp,” he said, adding some of the economic spin-offs will benefit retailers from small stall operators to large scale retailers and service providers, including transport providers.
“This new building will also be another attraction for the district, especially for visitors from inside and outside the country,” he added.
He said that construction of the new training camp for the flagship programme initiated by the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports (MCYS) is ahead of schedule and is slated to be completed by June next year.
The camp is expected to welcome its first batch of trainees in November or December next year.
The new training camp boasts, among others, a main building, a marching square, stage and grandstand and is built based on eco-friendly concepts with designs that are sustainable and low-cost in maintenance.
The main building will house, among others, an administration block, clinic and women trainee block, dinner hall block, surau, training rooms, trainees block and trainers block. The building will also be equipped with CCTV security system and high security fencing.
From its inception in 2011, the PKBN, which entails four components; self-identity and nationhood, physical training and discipline, entrepreneurship and social services has trained 821 youth, and with the fourth intake training which recently commenced, the total number of participants has increased to 1,135.
Also present at the inspection yesterday were the Permanent Secretary at the MCYS, Dato Paduka Awang Haji Mohd Hamid bin Haji Mohd Jaafar, Director of PKBN, and other senior officials.