Two Bruneian students share ASEAN experience
BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN
TWO young Bruneians recently represented the country at the ASEAN Student Exchange Programme in Bangkok organised by ASEAN Studies Centre of Chulalongkorn University.
In an exclusive interview with The Brunei Times, Dk Mas Dino Pg Hj Radin Hanafi and Nur Azeerah Napiah – both undergraduates at the Universiti Brunei Darussalam, shared their experiences throughout the 11-day programme.
Nur Azeerah said that the programme has given her the opportunity to be more engaged with other ASEAN youth and it has developed her confidence to communicate with the participants.
“I must say that it was a great experience. The workshops provided during the programme were very beneficial… Throughout the conference, we learnt more about ASEAN. I learnt so much and developed a sense of ASEAN identity,” said the Business Administration student.
During the programme, youth participants from 10 ASEAN country members took part in group discussions and various kinds of practical activities, including community services in order to create a sense of cultural and social awareness, along with the development of leadership and problem-solving skills.
Participants were also engaged with lectures on ASEAN integration, bilateral and regional, to international co-operation across the region and related regional issues, as well as special workshop provided by the National University of Singapore, to help them portray their ideas and initiatives.
Meanwhile, Dk Mas Dino shared that the ASEAN Community 2015, which is only few months away, was mainly discussed during the programme which emphasised the three pillars of ASEAN: the economic, political security and socio-cultural spectrums.
When asked about the challenges raised and solutions discussed during the conference, she said: “Especially on current on-going issues such as the impending AEC in 2015 and the South China Sea disputes, delegates were quite inquisitive and actively inquired expert panellists on the solutions which mainly revolved around regional cooperation and multilateral decision-making.”
The final year Environmental Studies student added, “However we were compelled to acknowledge that member states have a tendency to think nationally instead of regionally which is the anti-thesis to what the ASEAN Community wishes to achieve. The delegates in the programme were reminded of the power of ASEAN youth and the potential we have on the future of the region.”
The youth programme was aimed to enhance regional diversity which shall be cherished by its people throughout ASEAN, in order to accept the differences across the region – leading to people-to-people connectivity in ASEAN through strengthening and developing youth networks on the basis of trust, shared values and mutual understanding at first-hand experience level.
The Brunei Times