Youth Award recipients express their gratitude
Syafiq Affendy

HIS Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam consented to present four awards to excellent youths and youth associations yesterday at the 8th National Youth Day celebrations, held at the Indoor Stadium in Berakas.

The awards were given in recognition of their contributions and achievements to the nation. The first recipient of the awards was the Brunei Darussalam AIDS Council (BDAC), which received the Youth Association Award.

Receiving on behalf of the association was the Vice President (Activities & Events) of BDAC, Md Hazrin Daud, who felt honoured that BDAC has been given the award.

“Each association member should always be active and involved in events associated with the nation, and Insya Allah, when every member of the association is involved, an association will begin to stand out and will always get the response from the association itself,” shared Md Hazrin with the media during an interview.

Previously, two members of the Brunei Darussalam AIDS Council has also received awards – Datin Hjh Edah binti Hj Mohd Noor, who was awarded the ‘Meritorious Youth leader Award’, while Iswandy Ahmad as the President of the Brunei Darussalam AIDS Council was also awarded the Youth Service Award.

This association was established in 2001, and has more than 100 members ranging from students, undergraduates and students from tertiary education institutions who participated in the Lestari Programme.

Since the establishment of the association, Brunei Darussalam AIDS Council has been very active in the HIV Awareness Programme for Peers & Youth (HAPPY) and Lestari Programme.

His Majesty then presented the “Meritorious Youth Leader Award” to the Chief Commissioner of Scouts, Hj Badar Hj bin Ali.

Hj Badar explained that his involvement with the Scouts Association went way back during his school days.

He explained about the many challenges that the scouts association has to face in playing their role to lead youths to participate in healthy activities, which are updated frequently to appeal to the youth members.

“The education that the Scouts Association provides has to be up-to-date, contemporary and following current trends such as the recent Internet Jamboree that we participated,” he said.

He also added that other challenges that he faced includes having to divide his time between career or work, household and family, as well as being a leader in an association.

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

“Youths have to be proactive, dedicated. If they have any areas of interest, please pursue them – don’t give up even if faced with a lot of challenges like time, energy and in terms of getting support from stakeholders. Never give up, because the few years I started in youth work, it was not easy. I got rejected a lot, but I never gave up,” exclaimed Khairunnisa as she spoke of the challenges she faced prior to receiving the award.

Khairunnisa also believes that because of her interest in youth development, it will be a lot more practical for her to contribute as part of the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports, as such positions would enable her to be part of the team that advocates towards youth development.

Mohammad Hashim bin Hj Abdullah, a Hafazan Al-Qur’an teacher at Institut Tahfiz Al-Qur’an Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah, received the “Excellent Youth Award” from His Majesty.

Mohammad Hashim, who had an interest in reading the Al-Quran since childhood, said the award came as a surprise.

He received the award based on his active involvement in continuous participation in the ‘Musabaqah Memorising the Al-Quran’ at the international levels as well as the national level.

Mohammad Hashim has been active in Musabaqah since 1992, but is currently on hiatus to make room for others to participate, as he is currently studying at the Universiti Islam Sultan Sharif Ali.

As a teacher and a student, Mohammad Hashim declared his intention to continuously participate in the “Musabaqah Memorising the Al-Quran”.

Mohammad Hashim expressed his deepest appreciation to His Majesty for the recognition.

He advised youths to have patience, especially in memorising the Al-Quran, and to continuously read it.

Mohammad Hashim said that with the technology available today, children and youths could easily read the Al-Quran.

However, Mohammad Hashim stressed that youths should “download the correct Al-Quran application, as the important thing is that the Al-Quran is not forgotten and can be read anywhere”.

“While the technology is available and allows us to read the Quran, one should also have a teacher to spot his or her reading, because technology cannot correct one’s reading,” said Mohammad Hashim. - Borneo Bulletin (21 November 2013)