Two young writers to receive ASEAN recognition: DBP

National 2 minutes, 13 seconds


ABDUL Hadi Mohamed and Nicole Chong Ming will each be receiving the ASEAN Young Writer’s Award in a ceremony to be held in Thailand later this year, the Language and Literature Bureau (DBP) announced yesterday.

The ASEAN Young Writer’s Award — the first of its kind — was a recognition given by Thailand through a joint cooperation between its Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA), the managing committee for ASEAN Writers’ Award and its network as well as the Faculty of Liberal Arts at the Mahidol University, for talented young writers in the region.

Both Abdul Hadi and Nicole were chosen as the regional representatives after becoming the champions in their respective Malay and English writing categories in the competition held by the DBP.

Targeted youths for the award were those between 15 to 24 years old and are studying in educational institutions such as schools, colleges and universities.

Acting Director of DBP Hjh Nortijah Hj Mohd Hassan said that the recipients of the award would also become young ambassadors for ASEAN youth events in the future.

In an interview with, Abdul Hadi, a 20-year-old student from the Jefri Bolkiah Engineering College, Kuala Belait shared his joy as he was chosen to receive the award.

“I myself did not expect to be chosen because I feel that I still have a lot of shortcomings in my writings, but I think why my essay was chosen was because of the story-telling techniques I used,” he said.

“The technique I (implored) is different from others, because it is more influenced in a novel style of writing.”

Since it was a competition at the ASEAN level, he also incorporated Bruneian tradition and customs including foods and dances which could also showcase the country’s culture to others.

Abdul Hadi said that he looked forward for the award ceremony to be held in Bangkok.

His essay, “Berubahnya Aku” was a story of a woman from Malaysia who initially had an aggressive personality but changed after exploring the Bruneian traditional and customs when she was sent to the country by her parents.

Nicole, a 16-year-old student from St Andrews School, was the winner of the English category for the ASEAN Young Writers’ Award for Brunei.

She shared that reading a lot of books helps to improve her grammar and give more inspiration to write stories.

Her essay, titled “Through Thick and Thin” entailed a story of a man who was sad and heartbroken that his personalities was changed due to the death of his mother who used to be a songstress. The mother became an inspiration for the man to pursue his dream of becoming a violinist, she explained.

The Brunei Times