Social media should be used to empower MIB among youths, says minister
Azaraimy HH

THE technology in social media should be utilised to reach youths in helping inculcate MIB values and appreciation of the national philosophy as well as to help elevate pride in the Bruneian way of life under the philosophy of the Malay Islamic Monarchy (MIB).

Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Kerna Dato Seri Setia (Dr) Hj Awg Abu Bakar bin Hj Apong, the Minister of Education, said in his speech during yesterday’s launching of the English version of the book entitled “Malay Islamic Monarchy: A Closer Understanding”, that according to a research on the use of popular international social media, average users for one of the social media in Brunei is 56 per cent of the total population.

“From that number, nearly 75 per cent of the users comprised those between 16 and 34 years old. This provides a clear picture of the main channel (of communication) to reach this age group,” stated the minister who was the guest of honour.

He said that he fully hoped the technological advancements can be utilised to inculcate values and appreciation as well as strengthen the MIB way of life, so that the youth population are steadfast with their Bruneian identity, capable of taking the best out of globalisation and filter away negative or harmful elements.

“With the average size of the student population around 100,000, this has made it even more important for us to play a role in guiding and inculcating pure values and beliefs, so that the younger generation will develop into responsible adults and become dedicated in their respective careers,” he said.

Pehin Dato Seri Setia (Dr) Hj Awg Abu Bakar said MIB is a catalyst to the nation’s development towards realising Vision 2035.

For this reason, he said it is not only important to increase the number of reference books related to MIB but also in terms of its variety, as well as easy-to-understand and accurate explanations that will attract more people to read about the national philosophy, enabling readers to understand more.

The publication launched yesterday was an English version of the book authored by Pehin Jawatan Luar Pekerma Raja Dato Seri Utama Dr Ustaz Hj Awg Mohd Zain bin Hj Serudin, who is a former Cabinet Minister and a public figure in the field of MIB.

Pehin Dato Hj Awg Abu Bakar, said it was significant that the MIB Supreme Council through its Secretariat decided to translate the book into English, in cooperation with the Department of Information and Government Printing Department, Prime Minister’s Office.

He said the English version of the book can help strengthen Brunei’s good image and elevate the country into a nation that possesses a superior governing system.

Commenting on the book, the minister believed that it is able to explain clearly the three aspects of the national philosophy, which is Malay, Islam and the Monarchy.

For that the book can become a reference source for those who want to deepen their knowledge on MIB, especially students and higher learning institutions.

“Thankfully to Allah SAW and under the benevolent leadership of His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam, in a space of nearly three decades, we have enjoyed peace and prosperity,” said Pehin Dato Hj Awg Abu Bakar.

“With it, within these 30 years, we have been able to implement various economic, social and infrastructural developmental programmes, the fruition of which we have experienced today.”

In the minister’s opinion, since the country’s independence in 1984, MIB has been a catalyst to the country’s development.

He said, “In my opinion, the values of MIB are dynamic. It will continue to be relevant amidst the challenges and changes of time. Thus, it is our responsibility to preserve and promote these values, which will help us reach our vision.”

Meanwhile, Dr Hj Mohammad Hadi bin Muhammad Melayong, Secretary and Head of the MIB Supreme Council Secretariat as the event’s chairman, said the translation of “The Malay Islamic Monarchy: A Closer Understanding” from a Malay publication was the first ever project of its kind to be organised by the MIB Supreme Council.

“We hope that the English version of the book will help to benefit readers not fluent in the Malay language to understand and appreciate MIB, which has been the way of life in Brunei for 600 years,” he said.

In his speech, Dr Hj Muhammad Hadi thanked the book’s author, Pehin Dato Seri Utama Dr Ustaz Hj Awg Mohd Zain and the Language and Literature Bureau, for allowing the book’s republication and translation into English language, before being printed by the MIB Supreme Council with cooperation from the Department of Information and Government Printing Department, Prime Minister’s Office.

He also thanked Dyg Hjh Zainon binti Muhammad Tahir and Dyg Hjh Norasikin binti Abdul Majid, who translated the book into English, as well as Dr Awg Hj Azaharaini bin Hj Md Jamil, a lecturer at the Faculty of Business, Economy and Policy, UBD. - Borneo Bulletin (21 February 2013)