| Achong Tanjong |
THE fourth intake of the National Service Programme (PKBN) yesterday added another achievement in its history when it recorded its largest intake of 315 youth, comprising 211 men and 104 women.
Aged between 16 to 21 years old, most are waiting for their ‘O’ and ‘A’ levels results. They registered voluntarily at the Sports Village Training Camp on December 14 and are expected to end their training programme on March 16, 2015.
The event was officially launched by the chief guest, Dato Paduka Awang Haji Mohd Hamid bin Haji Mohd Jaafar, Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports.
Among the selected trainees of this year’s programme is Verdi Lee Soon Lai, a local Chinese youth from Sengkurong Sixth Form Centre who is waiting for his results. There are another five local Chinese youth joining the camp.
When asked what he expects during the programme, he said he hopes to be more disciplined and learn as much as possible.
“I also wanted to learn more things that I do not know and also learn to respect the elderly as well as leaders,” he added. He volunteered himself to join the programme despite missing his parents.
He also encouraged more Chinese youth to join the programme since most of the trainees are Malays.
“All the trainees are very friendly and there is nothing to worry about because in PKBN, discipline is top priority,” he said.
Meanwhile, Siti Aisyah Aimi binti Haji Johari from Sengkurong Sixth Form Centre, also shared similar feelings and expects to be disciplined and be better mentally.
“It’s like running. If before I can only run a short distance, I want to not give up, run further and reach my goal,” she said.
She also encouraged her friends to join the programme and her motto is, “do the best you can and challenge your minds and say you can do it. Don’t let your body tell your mind what to do but let your mind tell your body what to do”.
Meanwhile, Dk Nur Radhiah binti Pengiran Abd Rahman of Meragang Sixth Form Centre said the programme will teach her to become more open-minded. She said it is very important to join the PKBN although everybody feels scared to join.
“In the programme we are trained to be brave and tough. The programme also teaches us to get acquainted with the other trainees because we come from different districts and races,” she added.
Pg Hj Md Noor Ariffin bin Pg Omar said, “We as parents of the trainees are ever so grateful to the Government of His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam on the holistic and well-organised programme aimed at improving the capacity of Brunei youth in their spiritual, social, physical and mental areas.”
He said his son Ak Muhammad Aiman who is planning to continue his study of Marine Engineering at Jefri Bolkiah Engineering College in Kuala Belait, joined the programme voluntarily.
He also added that the programme is very good and complete with whole packages. He hopes through the programme his son will be more disciplined, confident and respect the elderly and make his parents proud.
Parents also expressed special thanks to all those involved in the management of the programme, including the camp commandant, the secretariat, selected trainers from various government agencies and volunteer trainers, for their energy and efforts in ensuring that the trainees are well looked after and for helping them achieve the objectives of the programme.
Since the programme’s first intake until its third intake, a total of 821 trainees had joined the PKBN programme. The fourth intake this year brings the overall total to 1,500 trainees.
Participation in the programme will increase in 2015 when the permanent training camp in Batu Apoi, Temburong, which can accommodate a total of 700 trainees, is completed.
The training programme during the 93 days will be the best and challenging for the trainees.