Embrace vision of Smart Nation: Minister

James Kon

Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office and Minister of Finance and Economy II Dato Seri Setia Dr Awang Haji Mohd Amin Liew bin Abdullah, who is also Chairman of BIBD and its Group of Companies, called on the youth to adopt a whole-of-nation approach and embrace the vision of a Smart Nation, which will be one of the major pillars propelling Brunei Darussalam towards realising Brunei Vision 2035.

He said this during his welcoming remarks at the opening ceremony of the two-day BIBD Youth Empowerment Summit (YES!).

His Royal Highness Prince ‘Abdul Mateen officiated the two-day BIBD YES! at Jerudong International School (JIS) Arts Centre yesterday.

The minister said, “As the future catches us, it is inevitable that our youth will inherit a digital age.”

He added, “With the advent for the Fourth Industrial Revolution, it is paramount that we make preparations together, to ensure that our youth are equipped with the technological know-how so that they can embrace technology and a digital future.”

Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office and Minister of Finance and Economy II Dato Seri Setia Dr Awang Haji Mohd Amin Liew bin Abdullah. PHOTO: MUIZ MATDANI

Dato Seri Setia Dr Awang Haji Mohd Amin Liew shared that through numerous efforts initiated by various ministries to support youth development, the Government 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 has made significant investments in bringing improvement in areas such as education, job-preparedness, entrepreneurial exposure, as well as efforts to elevate cultural activities and cultivate the creative industries.

On the BIBD YES!, the minister said it is held in response to His Majesty’s New Year 2020 titah during which His Majesty called for enhanced cooperation between industries and educational institutions to ensure that graduates of local universities and institutes of technical education are equipped with the right skills to prosper in the future economy.

“Through this summit, we aim to provide a platform for the youth to learn from outstanding young role models locally and abroad, as well as providing an opportunity to network, learn and interact with local industry players.”

One hundred and eleven key stakeholders – comprising 50 speakers, 37 partners and supporting organisations, as well as 24 schools – are converging at the two-day summit, demonstrating the community’s support, commitment and solidarity towards a common goal of empowering today’s youth as well as the future generations.

The minister urged the participating youth to capitalise on the platform to generate opportunities and pave the way towards success to contribute to the development of Brunei Darussalam.

Explaining about the BIBD Yes! theme of ‘It’s Your Turn!’, he said, “It is a call and a reminder for our youth here that you can make your impact now. As they say, the future is made up of people who are here now, and Insya Allah, all of you are the present and the future of this country. This summit hopes to encourage everyone to start taking action now because we do not need to wait to hold a certain position or land a certain job to start making our mark.”

The BIBD Youth Empowerment Summit, he explained “falls under the pillar of education and is a strong testament of how we view education as vital to the nation’s progress and success. Another prime example of our commitment in this area is the BIBD Advocating Life-Long Learning for Aspiring Future (ALAF) initiative which has been our mainstay programme since its introduction in 2013”.

BIBD ALAF’s primary programme provides financing and academic support for exemplary students to pursue their studies in notable schools, institutions and universities both locally and overseas. To date, 240 students have been given such opportunities. In addition, BIBD ALAF also conducts and supports capacity building programmes, including equipping students with coding, robotics and other ICT-related skills, the minister said.

“These initiatives will realise BIBD’s goal in helping to groom the youth of Brunei by giving everyone equal opportunities to excel in various fields of expertise regardless of their background. This will directly align with the future needs and requirements of the Industrial Revolution 4.0 and ultimately help create better job matching and reduce unemployment in the country,” Dato Seri Setia Dr Awang Haji Mohd Amin Liew said.