Prince 'Azim attends youth dialogue on volunteerism
By Azaraimy HH

His Royal Highness Prince Haji 'Abdul 'Azim attended a Youth Dialogue themed "Volunteerism and Empowering Youth Leaders", at Pusat Belia in the capital yesterday.

It was the third time that HRH Prince 'Abdul 'Azim attended such a dialogue, reflecting the Prince's serious attention to matters and issues pertaining to the development of youth in the country.

The dialogue, which was organised by the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports, was attended by some 200 participants comprising youths from relevant government agencies, private sector organisations, youth groups and clubs, higher learning institutions and student councils, as well as individuals involved in volunteer work.

The youth dialogue was attended by the Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports, Pehin Orang Kaya Pekerma Laila Diraja Dato Seri Setia Awg Hj Hazair and his Deputy, Datin Paduka Hjh Adina binti Hj Othman.

Also present were the Permanent Secretaries at the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports, Dato Paduka Hj Mohd Hamid bin Hj Mohd Jaafar and Awg Hj Mohd Rozan bin Dato Paduka Hj Mohd Yunos; the Deputy Permanent Secretary at the ministry, Awg Hj Ismail bin POKPSDP Hj Hashim; and senior officers from the ministry.

The minister in his remarks said the youth dialogue is also meant as a platform for the youths to offer suggestions based on their own aspirations and expectations, which could in turn enable the relevant authorities to plan and implement programmes and activities according to the proposals.

During the dialogue session, several issues were raised including the importance of protecting the creative industry, which is one of the concerns among youths in the country.

Touching on matters concerning 'volunteering' as a discussion topic, the dialogue referred to the need for youth volunteers in various stages as one of the mechanisms or drivers for youth development in government as well as private sectors.

However, volunteerism has never been placed as a core factor to be systematically or continuously encouraged by society, it was said during the discussion. There are still among the majority of youths in the country that do not understand or are aware of volunteerism in its sense and implications.

The subject of volunteerism has been given added attention of late, because of its apparent impact on either the community as a whole or to an individual.

According to the minister, volunteerism in the context of youth development includes various aspects such as teaching and preparing the youth to become committed and 'systematic' volunteers who do not rely on payment either in cash or material forms.

From one's perspective, volunteerism and leadership are two important fields to be understood as a personal development effort to make the youth become an important asset and leaders of tomorrow. These two areas, the minister stated, are related to each other because volunteerism provides youth with exposure to the constituents of leadership underpinning important aspects such as management, leadership and the community. - Borneo Bulletin (10th February 2012)