BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN – His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah has called for more youth to venture into entrepreneurship to strengthen the national economy.
“Today we see the transformation of youth taking place with them being more visionary and daring to explore new fields such as digital economy, social innovation, agribusiness and creative industry,” he said in a titah marking National Youth Day on Tuesday.
His Majesty expressed pride in youth achievements in the IT, agriculture, textile and creative industries.
He also praised Bruneian youth who have received international recognition for their humanitarian and volunteering efforts overseas.
The monarch also highlighted the achievements of Brunei’s athletes who have “rasied the country’s name” in the international arena, citing the recent Southeast Asian Games in Vietnam and World Games in the USA as examples.
“The distinction of the name of Brunei Darussalam is already there, even without winning any medals.
“But what is more important is not to chase medals, but to protect the good name of the country in any form, in our behavior or activities,” the sultan said.
“Even if they want to achieve success, youth should not neglect our values, or put aside our Bruneian identity which is Malay Islamic Monarchy.”
He then added that MIB is the “strategic platform” that will allow youth to move the country forward.
“Do not think that we are going backwards – no. Our youth still have the opportunity to make large-scale investments… that can trigger changes in economic recovery and development.”
His Majesty also called for government agencies, NGOs, the private sector and community in general to continue to support the implementation of the National Youth Policy and Strategy 2020-2035.
Youth recognised on national stage
The highlight of the celebration was the presentation of awards to four outstanding youths as recognition for their contributions to the country.
Dr Awang Mohd Hilmy Baihaqy Hj Yussof, assistant lecturer at the Religious Teachers University College of Seri Begawan, was named winner of the Excellent Youth Award for 2022.
Pg Hj Ahmad Fadillah Akhbar Pg Hj Sellahhuddin, co-founder of the charity Projek Bina Ukhwah, won the Youth Service Award.
The Youth Leader Award went to Abdul Aziz Hj Hamdan, village head of Kg Sengkarai in Tutong and president of Impak, a Tutong youth movement.
Blood donation app “BloodKad” was awarded the Outstanding Youth Project Award.
This year’s National Youth Day celebration maintained the same theme as last year which is “Belia Siaga Masa Depan“ or “Future Ready Youth”.
“This theme is still relevant and consistent with His Majesty’s desire to see the youth of Brunei always prepared to face future challenges, especially in the context of the Fourth Industrial Revolution and the development of the digital economy,” said minister of culture, youth and sports Dato Hj Nazmi Hj Mohamad.
“The Youth Day Exhibition focuses on those who have made a name for themselves in entrepreneurship, technology and innovation, as well as those who have the potential to penetrate the local, regional and international markets,” he added.