Cultivate MIB values when young

|     Dr Muhammad Hadi bin Muhammad Melayong, Senior Special Duties Officer, Secretariat Office, MIB Supreme Council     |

ALHAMDULILLAH, thanks to Allah the Almighty, the writer was invited to give a talk entitled ‘Malay Islamic Monarchy: A Way of Life’ to 359 students of the new intake attending the course at the Institute of Brunei Technical Education (IBTE), Sultan Saiful Rijal Campus, Jalan Muara.

I congratulated the lecturers of the IBTE Sultan Saiful Rijal Campus for organising this programme in an effort to uphold the titah of His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Haji Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien Sa’adul Khairi Waddien, Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam that His Majesty delivered in the Special Conference of the Cabinet Ministers meeting on February 7, 2018 at Istana Nurul Iman. His Majesty warned that Malay Islam Monarchy (MIB) is a “national policy of Brunei Darussalam” which must be implemented by every ministry and government departments as well as in everyday life in general. In addition to other points, the passage of the decree reads as follows:

….Untuk menjadi pemimpin, keperluan untuk menguatkan amalan konsep MIB sangatlah mustahak. Jangan sekali-kali cuba menganut ideologi atau sistem lain dari ideologi dan sistem MIB. Kalau mahu jadi pemimpin yang baik, maka peganglah kuat-kuat prinsip ini dan juga jangan jadi pemimpin mabuk kuasa melakukan apa saja untuk kepentingan diri sendiri, lebih daripada kepentingan untuk negara….

Akhirnya, kepada semua termasuk pihak perhubungan, pelancongan, belia dan sukan serta luar negeri, luruskanlah tujuan masing-masing. Jangan bengkok-bengkok. Tidak ada gunanya memilih jalan lain dari jalan kita yang sedia ada. Jalan kita ini sudah cukup bagus, kalau ia diikut, Insya Allah kita selamat. Apakah jalan yang unik lagi hebat itu?  Iaitu MIB. MIB adalah pakaian Brunei. Kita memakainya sejak lebih dari enam ratus tahun lagi. Jadi mengapa di dalam zaman yang dinamakan zaman moden ini ia mahu dipertikaikan? Yakinlah barangsiapa yang mempertikaikan MIB, mereka itu bukan purih Brunei atau tidak berjiwa Brunei.

In fact, the National Education System for the 21st Century of Brunei Darussalam did support the nation’s vision of creating a young generation imbued with the Bruneian values.

This was explained by the former director of IBTE Dr Chin Wei Keh at the IBTE Orientation Day 2018 which took place on July 3 at the Chancellor Hall of Universiti Brunei Darussalam.

A total of 359 IBTE students attended the MIB lecture
IBTE female students at the MIB lecture

A total of 1,519 students were elected to participate in the National Technical Education Certificate (NTec) programme and the Higher National Technical Education Certificate (HNTec) programme at nine campuses under two IBTE network schools, namely IBTE Central and IBTE Satellite.

During the opening ceremony, Dr Chin said students at IBTE are not limited to classroom teaching and learning and only absorb theoretical knowledge, but are also exposed to ‘hands-on’ skills training at pure learning centres either on or off campus while following their industrial placement.

He highlighted, among other things, that at IBTE the students are involved in curricular activities that help them build a variety of skills such as communication, human resource and leadership skills, and most important of all help them nurture a positive spirit and imbue within them the values of MIB.

Therefore, the application and appreciation of MIB values ​​in the national education system is undeniable since the achievement of our independence in 1984. This is a positive policy in generating Brunei youth who are equipped with the skills and expertise from the courses as well as suffused with the Bruneian way of life.

This is very important to be incorporated in the teaching and learning process, be it formal or informal, in the early stage of the students’ education, as illustrated in the Malay proverb ‘Melentur buluh biarlah dari rebungnya’, which translates as ‘When we bend the bamboo it should be done at its shoots’. In other words, to ensure the fertility of MIB values ​​in the process of socialisation to the present and future generations of young people, the scientific programmes offered at any educational institution should be culturally linked.

Hence, the programmes or courses offered at these institutions of higher learning are in line with the Brunei Vision 2035 to ensure the continuity of the existence of the Malay Islamic Monarchical state.

Therefore, childhood or adolescence is a wonderful time, but this is the period when the learning process shapes and colours the Brunei people whom we want. This can be seen during His Majesty’s meetings with Brunei students who study locally or abroad, when he would remind them to practise MIB values, which is part of the Bruneian identity.

This is because in today’s era of globalisation the young generation is always facing challenges that come from outside elements, which sometimes conflict with the values of the Bruneian way of life.

Therefore, MIB functions as a fort or a wall for young people to protect themselves from being misled or influenced by foreign ideologies or ideas that conflict with the culture and teachings of Islam.

It is the responsibility of all members of the community, especially parents and teachers to equip, nurture and educate young people with the pure values ​​of Brunei. The MIB values ​​found in Brunei’s way of life should always be sown in the soul of the present generation.

This was stated by the author in a brief talk entitled ‘Malay Islamic Monarchy: A Way of Life. The contents of the talk were presented in terms of the background of the age-old practice of MIB and further illustrated the challenges experienced by the people of Brunei in the past to defend MIB.

During the talk, today’s younger generation were also warned to be cautious and wiser when using new media tools or social media in today’s sophisticated technology era. All these challenges and problems can only be overcome and avoided via understanding, practice and appreciation of MIB values.

Thus, the application of MIB values ​​in the education system is very important in cultivating good values ​​among the younger generation. This is where the analogy with the bamboo proverb comes in.

As we know, the bamboo is a plant that is stiff and hard or impossible to bend. So if we want to bend bamboo, it should be done when the bamboo is still young. The proverb can serve as a guideline for parents, teachers and in particular, our political leaders, as well as the general community of Brunei to imbue within our nation’s heirs purer values.

Therefore, MIB is the national policy and guarantor to ensure that the heirs of the Brunei nation are not left out from the positive influence of the Bruneian values that have been practised hundreds of years ago as a source of unity and harmony in everyday life.

In this regard, in line with the duties and responsibilities of promoting the practice and appreciation of MIB, the Secretariat Office of the Malay Islamic Monarchy Supreme Council always cooperates with stakeholder parties to carry out programmes and activities to uphold the titah of His Majesty calling for the implementation of MIB as the national policy of Brunei Darussalam, delivered during His Majesty’s birthday celebration on July 26, 2010:

Sejarah Brunei Darussalam, sedia terisi dengan satu ‘nilai besar’, Melayu Islam Beraja (MIB).  Ia bukanlah pilihan tetapi anugerah.  Anugerah daripada Allah Subhanahu Wata’ala.  Selaku anugerah, nilainya tentulah lebih tinggi daripada apa yang dihasilkan oleh tangan sendiri.

Ia menuntut kepada tanggungjawab, dan tanggungjawab itu pula bernama ‘amanah’. Siapakah yang bertanggungjawab itu?  Jawabnya ialah kita semua, selaku bangsa dan rakyat.  Kita jawat anugerah ini, dan berikutnya kita pelihara ia, kita pakai dan kita pupuk terus, sebagai kebanggaan dan warisan.

In conclusion, if the citizens of Brunei Darussalam, especially the younger generation of today, know, understand and practise the values of MIB, Insya Allah the status of MIB in Brunei Darussalam will be preserved forever. Amin.