MCYS to focus on empowering youth

|     Aziz Idris     |

MINISTER of Culture, Youth and Sports Yang Berhormat Major General (Rtd) Dato Paduka Seri Awang Haji Aminuddin Ihsan bin Pehin Orang Kaya Saiful Mulok Dato Seri Paduka Haji Abidin announced a proposed budget of BND93,729,780 for his ministry for fiscal year 2019/2020.

He said this during the seventh day of the 15th Legislative Council meeting yesterday.

The budget was an increase of 22.83 per cent from the previous budget approved during the 2018/2019 session.

Yang Berhormat Major General (Rtd) Dato Paduka Seri Awang Haji Aminuddin Ihsan fully supported this year’s budget theme, ‘Investing in Our Future’ which is in line with the ministry’s key strategies and priorities in “developing competent and employable human resource and maintaining public prosperity”.

The Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports (MCYS) budget will focus on three key areas; empowering local youth to be independent and equipped with entrepreneurial skills; allocation of BND14 million for Monthly Welfare Assistance; and provision of a centralised database for welfare assistance programmes.

With the financial year 2019/2020, MCYS will continue its efforts to enhancing community involvement and empowerment for national development, preserving and recognising arts and culture while at the same time develop local sports.

To ensure active engagement in activities that have impactful benefits, MCYS has allocated budgets for non-governmental organisations (NGOs) to run their development programmes either through sports or training.

It also plans to enhance and expand cooperation with corporate and private parties through corporate social responsibility (CSR) such as socio-economic and environmental development, including capacity building and employment opportunities for all target groups.

The budget will also be used to enhance engagement and empower local art enthusiasts by refurbishing existing art galleries and museums. He also noted that throughout 2019, 11 exhibitions on photography, urban street art, calligraphy and modern paintings have been held at the Art Gallery in the capital.

The minister also outlined new programmes introduced at the Youth Development Centre including Belia Bertani Mudah dan Murah, whereby 32 youth from all four districts joined the programme from February 18 for 15 weeks with the goal of increasing the percentage of Youth Development Centre (PPB) youth getting jobs from 40 per cent to 70 per cent.

The Youth Entrepreneurship Strategy Committee was established in August 2018 to examine the effectiveness of entrepreneurial ecosystems. The committee has a database of 324 youth entrepreneurs so far in various sectors.

The committee targets five youth entrepreneurs to earn between BND100,000 and BND500,000 a year.

Meanwhile, the minister was happy to note the CSR programme contributed in 2019 saw the clearing of land to start planting 8.5 hectares of paddy for four youth farmers, who will start farming rice this April.

“MCYS will continuously strive to ensure that the target groups, such as differently abled people and low-income groups, including their guardians, will be given skills, job opportunities and entrepreneurial opportunities so that they can live independently and out of poverty. We will also ensure the welfare and well-being of the elderly and senior citizens,” he said.

The reclamation of pensions and disabled persons are being reviewed in two phases; the first phase on the amendment on the age of the disabled beneficiary to 15 years and below has been completed while the second phase, to review this act as a whole, is targetted to be completed by 2020.

He also expressed his gratitude to the strategic partners in the government agencies as well as national councils and associations under it together with the NGOs, youth and volunteer movements, mukim and village consultative councils and private parties who have also contributed significantly in supporting the ministry’s efforts.

“This collaboration has given a very positive impact in empowerment and enhances the standard of living and empowerment of individuals, families and communities inclusive. The ministry certainly needs close cooperation from strategic partners united towards Brunei Vision 2035,” he said.