Sultan attends Youth Day celebration
Danial Norjidi

HIS Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam graced the 8th National Youth Day celebration at the Indoor Stadium yesterday.

The celebration, themed “Belia Menuju Wawasan” (Youth Towards Vision), was aimed at gathering youths from around the country in one place to carry out “meaningful activities”.

It was also held to give them an opportunity to interact with each other and share their thoughts on various issues.

His Majesty was accompanied by a royal entourage of His Royal Highness Prince Haji Al-Muhtadee Billah, the Crown Prince and Senior Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office; His Royal Highness Prince Mohamed Bolkiah, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade; His Royal Highness Prince Haji Sufri Bolkiah; and His Royal Highness Prince ‘Abdul Malik.

Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports, Pehin Orang Kaya Pekerma Laila Diraja Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Hazair bin Haji Abdullah, in his welcome speech, described the celebration’s theme as being a declaration of commitment from the country’s youth – based on their capacity and ability both individually and as a group – towards achieving the national vision of His Majesty and his Government.

To realise the “Youth Towards Vision” idea, synergy and cooperation from all parties would be needed, he highlighted.

“Insya Allah, the current cooperation from close friends at all levels, namely the government agencies, private sector, NGOs and the community, will be strengthened and enhanced towards building and developing the potential of our youth to empower them in their ability to carry out the national vision.”

His Majesty then delivered a titah urging youths to support the Syariah Law.

The monarch also touched on the topic of unemployment.

The Youth Oath was then recited, before colourful and creative performances were put on by various youths.

One of the performances focussed on technological progression, which saw two boys flying a kite and a toy plane, before a group walked along behind them while remotely controlling a small quadcopter which hung a Youth Day banner.

A more elaborate performance saw youths clad in attire representing their professions take to the centre of the Indoor Stadium in formation, before going on stage behind the main performance area.

From the stage, they sang in chorus, while various young performers moved in sequence, showcasing a range of talents from martial arts to a synchronised utilisation of fabric to create a unique moving pattern.

The performance drew an enthusiastic applause around the stadium.

Next was the presentation of awards to four youths for outstanding achievements.

The “Meritorious Youth Leader Award” went to Hj Badar bin Hj Ali, Chief Commissioner of Scouts, while the Brunei Darussalam AIDS Council received the “Youth Association Award”.

The “Youth Service Award” went to Khairunnisa binti Ash’ari, an active volunteer and Head of International Relations for the Brunei Youth Council. She is also one of the main people behind the Asean Young Professionals Volunteer Corps (AYPVC) initiative.

Mohammad Hashim bin Haji Abdullah, a Hafazan Al-Quran teacher at Institut Tahfiz Al-Qur’an Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah, won the “Excellent Youth Award”.

His Majesty then visited the Youth Volunteer, Entrepreneurship, Career & Training Mini-Exhibition, where the monarch spoke with youths who shared their experiences, ranging from volunteer work abroad to starting up businesses locally.

The exhibition featured a number of examples and models regarding youth involvement in the aforementioned areas.

As the minister described in his speech remarks, “Their involvement in these areas can have a positive impact not only on the youths themselves, but also on the identity of the community and the nation.

“Their involvement can enhance the unity of the Ummah in this region.” - Borneo Bulletin (21 November 2013)