Springboard to greener pastures
By Azaraimy HH

His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam yesterday gave praise to the presentation of Awards of Excellence to deserving villages as an initiative to promote dynamic improvement in various aspects such as cleanliness, harmony and tranquility.

The beloved ruler also believed that this initiative could become a springboard to propel various socio-economic improvements in local communities.

His Majesty was delivering a titah during the presentation of "Excellent Village Awards" Ceremony at the International Convention Centre yesterday.

His Majesty stated that the "Excellent Village Awards" fitted well with government efforts to enhance development and well-being of the people in a more sustainable manner.

The monarch also urged his subjects to diligently keep on advancing themselves with skills to improve their income - a personal trait or characteristic that is encouraged by Islam, His Majesty said.

His Majesty added that this will make one more independent and reinforces self-belief.

His Majesty asserted that this characteristic is also 'Nisbah' (significant contribution to society), by elevating them to a productive society of high quality.

In light of this, His Majesty urged the Mukim and Village Consultative Council to act as the generator, thinker and planner in community development.

His Majesty said this because "without the participation of the council members, all programmes that are put into place may become ineffective".

"Their involvement is thus important," His Majesty added.

Touching on present economic activities at village level, His Majesty was also elated that there are villages producing their own products in agricultural areas and handicraft.

However, His Majesty acknowledged that these economic activities albeit were still small-scale and faced constraints.

Despite that, His Majesty encouraged that this represents an unsullied step in realising the aspiration of His Majesty's Government in establishing the principle of 'One Village: One Product'.

"This effort, (which) can no more be doubted, is capable of generating communal harmony and prosperity to the community," His Majesty said.

His fervent hope is for these products to go from small to large-scale production for a wider market. He thus urged related government agencies to assist local producers.

His Majesty believed that with this effort, many 'manfa'at' (benefits) could be gained, especially in terms of personal benefits, and shedding the dependent and lethargic mindset.

On other matters relating to community, His Majesty in his titah also urged relevant authorities not to overlook certain villages spooked by criminal activities or social ills.

"Today, we may regard it as unimportant but when it becomes ingrained, it will be difficult to solve," His Majesty added and urged the community to work in tandem with their Penghulu, Head of Village, and the Mukim and Village Consultative Council and Neighbourhood Committee.

His Majesty said, the country cannot afford to let criminal or social deviants take root. "We fully understand that crime and social ills can stymie development and comforts," His Majesty stated. - Borneo Bulletin (14th February 2010)