His Majesty observes PKBN camp activities
By Azlan Othman

His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam yesterday visited and toured the camp of the 78 trainees in the pioneering first project for the National Service Programme (PKBN) at the Sports Village in Berakas.

His Majesty inspected a guard of honour and witnessed martial arts presentations by the trainees as well as some acrobatic shows and a march pass. The monarch also saw the operation and secretariat rooms, surau, as well as the male and female hostels, while viewing the day's exhibits and mingling with some of the trainees.

The first session for the trainees began on December 4 last year and finished yesterday, while the second session for the new intake will start from April 1 and will end on June 23 this year, whereas the third will be held from Dec 10 until March 4 next year.

The first session ran smoothly for 12 weeks (84 days) and all activities ran as planned. They covered First Aid, MIB, self-development, entrepreneurship, community work, kayaking, rock-climbing, rope challenges, abseiling, jungle-trekking, basic counselling, as well as some cultural and heritage courses.

During their three-month course, the trainees also had an opportunity to join a march pass for the recent 28th National Day celebration.

Dato Paduka Hj Mohd Hamid bin Hj Mohd Jaafar, Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports, said that the target for the second session will be 100 trainees, while another 100 trainees are also expected for the third session.

The next selection process is open to related agencies to forward the candidates. Information will also be disseminated through the mass media and websites, while successful applicants will undergo their medical check-ups at RIPAS Hospital.

The trainees are given a monthly allowance of $100, insurance coverage, daily meals, uniforms, toiletries and other necessities. The proposed site for PKBN in the future will be at Kg Batu Apoi in Temburong, a 40-acre site costing $23.5 million.

The infrastructure promises to be eco-friendly, while the building structure will use steel frames for the purpose of sustainability and cost-saving maintenance. It will also have 10 buildings, including two administration blocks, 36 camp blocks for men and women, one clinic block, 12 classroom blocks, a surau, a store, a dining room, a multi-purpose hall, four hostels for supervisors and trainers, an obstacle course field, as well as a grandstand and marching field. ne, entrepreneurship and community service. - Borneo Bulletin (26th February 2012)