Initiatives aim to empower senior citizens

Izah Azahari

Among the initiatives for the Senior Citizen Activity Centre (PKWE) are to have it empower its senior citizens through entrepreneurial activities, and to conduct businesses so that it can stand on its own.

This was said by Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports Yang Berhormat Major General (Rtd) Dato Paduka Seri Haji Aminuddin Ihsan bin Pehin Orang Kaya Saiful Mulok Dato Seri Paduka Haji Abidin in response to Legislative Council (LegCo) member Yang Berhormat Haji Emran bin Haji Sabtu’s query regarding PKWE’s initiatives yesterday.

The Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports (MCYS) aids senior citizens and the PKWE by providing them a platform to market their products, not only at buildings under the MCYS (including the Brunei Technology Museum and Brunei Darussalam Maritime Museum), but also at department stores such as Hua Ho Manggis Mall without payment, the minister said.

Apart from that, online smart platforms such as e-kadai is also being used to market senior citizens’ products. Together with strategic partners, MCYS is working to enhance the marketing of PKWE products through packaging and branding following the same ‘One Village, One Product’ (1K1P) initiative.

“Last year, the revenue from kiosks generated BND6,000 in sales. These are MCYS efforts to ensure senior citizens or PKWE are given a platform to market the products of each PKWE,” the minister said.

Legislative Council member Yang Berhormat Haji Emran bin Haji Sabtu. PHOTO: BAHYIAH BAKIR

PKWE in Belait District was given the opportunity to produce school clothing to be marketed through Yayasan Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah (YSHHB), which is a project under YSHHB to give to the needy. MCYS hopes to diversify with the inclinations and capabilities of the PKWEs, he said.

“This is an effort in empowerment and providing opportunities, and we are seeing that senior citizens also want to participate. So it is important for us to encourage senior citizens. Our hope is for the formation of an enterprise not only for PKWE, but also for Pusat Bahagia’s persons with different abilities (OKU),” Yang Berhormat Major General (Rtd) Dato Paduka Seri Haji Aminuddin Ihsan said.

In the aspects of training of senior citizens, the minister said that efforts will continue to be enhanced, and with the boom of technology and use of e-platform, joint efforts with the Authority for Info-communications Technology Industry of Brunei Darussalam (AITI) are in place and will be extended to PKWE so that business can be carried out using e-platforms.

With regards to setting up a Senior Citizen Fund for the public to contribute to, the minister said one already exists, and that what is now needed is to raise awareness of it. The funds raised are used for the implementation of PKWE activities.