Thursday, November 19, 2009

Empower youths with MIB values

CURRENT trends indicate that adolescents today are at an increased risk of becoming unfamiliar with the Melayu Islam Beraja (MIB or Malay Islamic Monarchy) philosophy, a chronic development often linked to lack of knowledge and understanding of MIB, said Deputy Director of Academy of Brunei Studies (APB) at Universiti Brunei Darussalam (UBD) yesterday.

During a public lecture at UBD entitled "Empowering Youths through MIB", APB Deputy Director Mohd Shahrol Amira Abdullah said that youths make up a majority of the country's population and as such, should not be excluded or marginalised nor underestimated in the national development agenda.

"Youths are an important asset of a country. They are involved in the government and private sectors for the welfare, security and development of the country, and hence, they are leaders of today as well as of the future," said Mohd Shahrol.

However, he said, youths are often not granted a great deal of respect and are rarely given the tools and opportunities to make the excellent contributions which they are capable of.

"The problem with our society is that we have not given enough power to our youths to do all the things that they want to do. We normally don't trust our youths, we always try to control them, look down on them and we always consider them as people who are not very knowledgeable," he said, adding that he hopes this kind of judgment will soon fade from society.

The deputy director added that efforts to empower youths in all aspects and areas, in particular those relevant to them, should be planned and executed effectively and systematically.

Empowering young people means creating and supporting the enabling conditions under which young people can act on their own behalf, and on their own terms, rather than at the direction of others, he said.

"Empowering Youths through MIB" means fully utilising Malay Islamic Monarchy assets to empower youths in this country in order to create youths that are charismatic, independent and responsible, in line with the national MIB philosophy, added the deputy director.

"Through this approach, it is hoped that the youths are able to shine, excel, and stand on their own feet, in the local and international arenas, but still strongly adhere to MIB norms and values.

"Young people are empowered when they acknowledge that they have or can create choices in life, are aware of the implications of those choices, make informed decisions freely, take action based on those decisions and accept responsibility for the consequences of those actions," said Mohd Shahrol.

"We need to empower our youths in order to make them employable, to become better husbands and wives, and to help develop significant personal qualities, such as to stand on one's own feet, leadership, initiative, confidence, determination, creativity," he stressed.

"Empowerment of youth does not mean surrendering all the power to youth. On the contrary, it is a process of channelling idealism, vision, knowledge, experience, activism, motivation and strength that they already possess," he concluded.

Held at UBD's Senate Room, the lecture looked into initiatives to empower youths in the framework of the national MIB philosophy, and to see effective alternative measures to complement those that have been carried out by various agencies.


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