| Hakim Hayat |
PLANS to revive the Excellent Village Award (AKC) for localities nationwide are in the works, and are expected to be launched next year, Minister of Home Affairs Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Kerna Dato Seri Setia (Dr) Haji Awang Abu Bakar bin Haji Apong said yesterday.
The annual AKC, last held in 2014, recognises villages that demonstrate excellence in community and village socio-economic activities and entrepreneurship, but the minister said the next edition of the awards will also take on a slightly different format and criteria to include other areas besides the One Village, One Product (1K1P) initiative.
He made these remarks during a dialogue session with grassroots leaders, residents and committee members of the Mukim and Village Consultative Councils (MPMK) of Temburong District during his working visit to the district yesterday.
The dialogue was held at the Temburong Community Hall.
He also shared that his ministry has formed a committee that is evaluating the format and criteria of the next edition of the AKC, and will also consult with grassroots leaders to draw more progressive ideas and feedback.
“Once this is done, we will further discuss and summarise the new format and we hope to announce it next year so that villages can work towards achieving the awards,” he added.
One of the AKC’s goal is to give village residents incentives to develop their villages to spur economic activity and generate work opportunities and to further develop villages as a cohesive community.
The minister’s visit to Temburong District yesterday is also part of his series of visits to different districts to encourage more products from different localities to shine and penetrate the market better under the 1K1P initiative.
As Temburong District was chosen to run the 1K1P pilot project in 2006, the minister said MPMK around the district have been successful in enabling different small industries to develop, but reminded that they should not be complacent and remain vigilant to ensure constancy in their products and services and allow improvement, as well as enhance local socio-economic growth.
By looking closer at the 1K1P products created by MPMK here, the minister, who was speaking to the media on the sidelines of his working visit, said he hopes “to encourage the MPMK to further boost their output by giving feedback and suggest ways to enhance quality and meet increasing demand”.
The minister added that he also hopes to see more village residents, especially the youth, to initiate and further boost programmes and activities in their areas through MPMK, especially in the development of the 1K1P initiative to help enhance socio-economic activities and self-sustainability in the areas.