This year is when all village heads in Brunei Darussalam will serve their final term and set to be replaced by new members.
With the renewal of leadership at Village Consultative Councils (MPKs), this presents the Ministry of Home Affairs (MoHA) a good opportunity to induce and promote youth participation.
MPKs will undergo re-elections and re-appointments.
This means many key MPK committee posts are up for grabs.
The MoHA should make it mandatory for MPKs to have at least two key members be aged 30 or below.
There are many practical benefits of recruiting youth in these social institutions.
Getting youth to be involved with MPK can contribute to a change in mindset among their age group.
Their participation can help boost civic-mindedness and willingness to contribute to their village and society.
They can also get their friends to be interested in civic participation and volunteerism.
Youth can also bring in fresh and innovative ideas for the development of their villages. Their participation will allow them to make practical use of education and skills.
For example, an MPK can easily have their website set up by the youth member as youth nowadays are Tech- and IT-savvy.
Having youth also reduces the generational gap in society.
With the old and new generations cooperating, this can enhance understanding and reduce existing bias or frictions that may exist, strengthening social solidarity among young and old.
Similarly, the elders can impart their knowledge and wisdom among the young. I hope the authorities will consider this suggestion.
Abdul Malik Omar