PKBN alumni to address social woes

National 2 minutes, 31 seconds

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

THE new alumni association for Program Khidmat Bakti Negara (PKBN), or national service programme would be expected to address social issues among youth, including drug abuse and smoking.

Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports Yang Berhormat Pehin Orang Kaya Pekerma Laila Diraja Dato Seri Setia Hj Hazair Hj Abdullah said the alumni would also be expected to raise environmental awareness and do community work.

Speaking before a closed-door dialogue with former and current PKBN trainees, the minister said it was hoped the alumni would encourage PKBN trainees to collaborate with other youth and voluntary organisations.

“It is also hoped the nation’s youth will be encouraged to be more proactive in coming forward to help share the responsibility of developing the nation,” the minister said yesterday.

YB Pehin Dato Hj Hazair further said the ministry would financially support PKBN alumni. There were also plans to form the alumni in different districts.

Former trainees will serve as office-bearers, and various sections would be responsible for planning and mobilising the alumni’s activities.

The minister did not give a timeframe of when the alumni would be formed.

His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam first announced the establishment of the PKBN alumni during the passing out parade of the programme’s first official intake earlier this month.

During the meeting at the National Indoor Stadium, the minister also talked of the importance of the national service programme, and its participants.

The implementation of PKBN - as a comprehensive national youth development programme - is hoped to shape and produce youth who are patriotic, and faithful to the king, their nationality, religion, and country, he said.

“The programme is also expected to produce youth who are responsible and disciplined in their daily activities as the children of Brunei, who are able to uphold the national Vision 2035, as well as support and defend the Malay Islamic Monarchy (MIB) ideology.

“The trainees will also play a role in contributing to the maintenance of peace and stability in the country,” he said.

YB Pehin Dato Hj Hazair also praised the ongoing dedication of the pioneering first intake of PKBN trainees, who are mentors for the new intake of trainees.

“The continued presence of the former trainees and their readiness to return to the PKBN training camp to continue their voluntary service by working with the PKBN trainers and supervisors, is clear evidence the programme has produced youth who are disciplined and committed, and who are ready to serve the community and the nation,” he said.

It demonstrated that the volunteers from the first intake have high pride in associating themselves with PKBN, the minister added.

“They truly are the ‘pride of a nation’, and possess the capability to uplift the nation’s image,” he said.

To date, 746 people have signed up for PKBN, including those from the three pilot projects.

The second PKBN intake attracted more than 250 individuals earlier this month.

The trainees are expected to conclude the 94-day programme in March 2014.

The Brunei Times