| Lyna Mohamad |
DELEGATES of the National Service Voluntary Brigade (BSKN) Malaysia, who are currently on a visit to Brunei Darussalam, had the opportunity to get up close with the special needs children of Pusat Bahagia during a visit to the centre.
Heading the delegation was the Director-General of National Training Service Department, Dato Abd Hadi Awg Kechil, who in a brief interview with media hailed the positive and encouraging development of Brunei’s National Service Programme (PKBN).
He noted that when he first came to visit during the pilot project of PKBN, he had seen some very positive signs but after learning more about the development of PKBN at a briefing session presented by the Commandant of PKBN, he was amazed to see the outstanding changes it has made.
Malaysia shares its pride with Brunei as they are the only two countries in the world that have the same national service system which is set up not to form a military but to ensure that the people stand strong to the MIB concept (for Brunei) and to ensure every citizens love their country (for Malaysia), Dato Abd Hadi said.
According to him, both organisations share similarities not only on programmes but also on the commitment shown by the top leaders, and on this note he praised His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam for his strong commitment towards PKBN, and the Prime Minister of Malaysia. Malaysia initiated BSKN 10 years ago upon orders by the then prime minister.
The setting up of the permanent camp for PKBN also drew the attention of Dato Abd Hadi who was impressed with the planning and architectural perfection of the camp which he found as very organised and similar to that of a military camp.
Expressing his hopes to visit the camp upon its completion next year, he pointed out that with the availability of such an organised camp, collaborative plans can be implemented more meaningfully.
He also stressed on the need for Brunei’s PKBN to venture into the second era of developing PKBN, which is getting former trainees to come forward and engage themselves in community-related activities to ensure that what they learned from the programmes does not get rusty.
Dato Abd Hadi urged former PKBN trainees to come over to Malaysia to do similar visits and conduct collaborative programmes that will further strengthen ties between the two countries.
He said that it was an honour for Malaysia, particularly its Defence Ministry and Department of National Training Service, to be invited to the country and visit the PKBN.
The visit was aimed at getting updates on PKBN’s status and at the same time share the current standing of BSKN. Dato Abd Hadi explained how both countries can learn from each other reminding the Malaysian side that they must take note on the practices of PKBN which are relevant to be adopted, regardless of being the ‘senior’ in the field.
The visit also saw the delegates engaging in various fun-filled activities and joining a birthday celebration for the special needs children at the centre as well as touring the facilities.