Minister of Home Affairs Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Kerna Dato Seri Setia (Dr) Haji Awang Abu Bakar bin Haji Apong praised the efforts of non-governmental organisation (NGO) association, Wargamas, in helping to bridge the gap between senior citizens in Ulu Belait with those from other districts.
During his visit to Mendaram Besar Longhouse yesterday as part of Pemedulian Masyarakat Project, the minister said, “This event provides the opportunity for residents from other districts to visit the rural area of Mukim Labi and Mendaram Besar Longhouse to learn more about the culture and the way of life, which serves to broaden our knowledge and experiences, especially those which are close and within our country of Brunei.”
The minister also noted that “assistance does not necessarily come in the form of financial aid, but also taking care of concerns in daily life, such as caring for the education for those still in school and the building and strengthening of community relationships.”
He highlighted how Mukim Labi and the longhouses in Labi have continued to develop as an eco-tourism destination for both domestic and foreign tourists.
“This coincides with the recently launched Selera Bruneiku, led by the Ministry of Primary Resources and Tourism (MPRT) and the Brunei Tourism Board, which aims to help promote local food and domestic tourism,” he said.
He praised the creativity of the longhouse residents and those in the surrounding area, for their commitment in the making of handicrafts, after two managed to reach the final phase of the One Village, One Product (1K1P) Transformation Workshop held from July to September.
“I would like to congratulate Embong anak Munah and Hensona anak Munah, as their participation in the 1K1P Transformation Workshop by the Ministry of Home Affairs and Bank Islam Brunei Darussalam (BIBD), which resulted in both being among the 19 1K1P entrepreneurs selected for the final phase.
“Not only has their participation led to the showcasing of their handicrafts as worthy premium 1K1P products, but their enthusiasm, determination and commitment in attending the workshop without fail despite the distance, are an example which should be set for all 1K1P entrepreneurs.”
The minister congratulated the other participants from the Belait District – Hajah Rohani binti Haji Abu Bakar and Hajah Zaleha binti Haji Mokti from the Village Consultative Council (MPK) of Kampong Mumong and Hajah Ismah binti Haji Omar from MPK Lumut, “for their courage, determination and commitment in their crafts while participating in the workshop despite their advanced age.
“I hope that the five participants from the Belait District, who took part in the 1K1P Transformation Workshop, will be able to further instil enthusiasm, and inspire and encourage other village and mukim consultative council (MPMK) members to boost their efforts in making their 1K1P into premium products.
“We welcome the involvement or contributions for senior citizens to work with MPMKs in their districts, while helping families in need of care; and as we are all familiar with the 1K1P, there is also the potential for Satu Kampong Satu Keluarga.”
The visit was aimed at gaining more insights into the daily lives of senior citizens and disadvantaged groups in Ulu Belait.
Legislative Council member and Acting Penghulu of Mukim Labi Yang Berhormat Hanapi bin Mohd Siput, permanent secretaries and deputy permanent secretaries at the Ministry of Home Affairs (MoHA) and Belait District Officer Ramlee bin Haji Jamudin were in the minister’s delegation.
Basic necessities to several senior citizens and disadvantaged groups from the longhouse, as well as the surrounding area of Mukim Labi were presented.
A token of appreciation was presented to the minister by a longhouse advisory member to commemorate the occasion.
The minister toured a gallery, along with several booths and stalls set up by the Women’s Bureau of the longhouse, showcasing various products such as handicrafts.
Later in the day, the minister made an impromptu visit to the Teraja Longhouse, for a look at the weekly tamu held on the surrounding premises.