Sultan announces National Service Programme

His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam announced that a pioneering project towards implementing National Service Programme or Program Khidmat Bakti Negara (PKBN) would be launched this December.

"National identity among youths is crucial and useful to prepare them to face various challenges in life. National identity is a true strength to complete such service," His Majesty said in his titah at the 6th National Youth Day celebration yesterday at the Indoor Stadium in Berakas.

Later in a brief interview, His Majesty said that he hoped the programme would be successful.

Touching on this year's theme 'Creative and Innovative Youth', the ruler said many parties need to be involved for the creative industry to thrive and the establishment of legal protection like property laws.

"The theme entails youths to be more creative and innovative and encourages to explore all sorts of fields and keep themselves up-to-date with the development.

"We are pleased to note that some of the talented youths are engaged in business or entrepreneurship," His Majesty said as the usage of their creative ideas through info-communication technology (ICT) pleased the monarch.

"My government with the cooperation of the private sector would provide a more conducive environment to support and provide assistance through capacity building, provision of infrastructure and opening up of market for youths so that they could market their products locally and abroad," the monarch said.

Elaborating further on the creative industry, His Majesty also urged youths to grab the opportunities as many fields are available and waiting to be explored, especially in cultural traditions. This field is a priceless heritage that could be portrayed through effective marketing strategies as practised in developed countries, the monarch added.

This could also attract tourists and indirectly openup more employment opportunities for the younger generation.

"I believe every achievement by our youth entrepreneurs will become a catalyst and encourage others to follow suit and engage in the world of entrepreneurship.

"This is the way to widen the creative industry, which involves many parties besides the strong determination from the entrepreneurs themselves. The involvement includes providing legal protection such as property laws, basic facilities and training. If these exist, I believe the existing creative industry could be strengthened and developed and at the same time would encourage more youths who are yet to explore this industry to participate in this beneficial field," His Majesty added.

"For general activities or programmes, I welcome the efforts made by the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports through the Youth and Sports Department in providing a place for youths to gather in every district and organise useful programmes.

"I believe the step undertaken to enhance development through rebranding of Youth Centres throughout the country is indeed timely, which is not only to occupy their time with fun activities, but more importantly as a place to gain advice and produce valuable arts and cultural products.

"I was made to understand that steps undertaken to rebrand Youth Centres was the byproduct of dialogue between the authoritative parties and the target group itself, the youths.

"It means that the establishment of activities or programmes which are going to be implemented need to take into consideration the taste of youths themselves. This is appropriate as today's youths are tomorrow's pioneers.

"In this context, I wish to take this opportunity to urge youths to jointly make the aspiration a success and to make such Youth Centres as a recreational, learning, pious place that serves the individuals, religion, people and the nation," said His Majesty.

Also present at the gathering were HRH Prince Hj Sufri Bolkiah, HRH Prince Haji 'Abdul 'Azim and HRH Prince Haji 'Abdul Malik.

His Majesty later presented awards to recipients of Meritorious Youth Leader, Youth Association and Excellent Youth. Earlier, the monarch witnessed youth presentations, starting with a video presentation on innovative and creative youths followed by dance performances, brass band and acrobatic show.

The monarch also toured the Innovative and Creative Youth Expo held at the nearby Multipurpose Hall of the Hassanal Bolkiah National Sports Complex, which will run for two more days.

The expo is divided into three categories namely Creative Multimedia Industry, Creative Cultural Industry and Creative Design Industry. - Borneo Bulletin (27th September 2011)