‘Youth should value cleanliness’
BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN
The Brunei-Muara District Office organised its fourth cleaning campaign yesterday with the Village Consultative Council (MPK) along the streets of Kg Madang in Mukim Berakas B in a bid to spread cleanliness awareness among the area’s residents.
However, campaign participants haven’t been seeing any young people joining the community programme because they are preoccupied with watching television or surfing the Internet.
The lack of young people participating in the cleaning campaign is a major concern that needs to be addressed as soon as possible to deter them from becoming irresponsible adults that mar the beauty of the Sultanate’s streets.
Hj Tuah Ahmad, a 72-year-old pensioner, told The Brunei Times that the decline was due to a lack of appealing activities in villages.
He said the Village Consultative Council has introduced a number of activities such as a walkathon after Subuh prayer every Friday and Sunday, but young people regard such activities to be only meant for senior citizens.
“I think we need to change our plan and find ways to make the activities attractive. The government should organise sports activities such as football. With this, the youth would be able to form their own groups and be interested to participate in any community programme such as the cleaning campaign,” said Hj Tuah.
“In the past, I used to follow my parents to participate in community activities such as helping to set up shadow puppetry. But nowadays, I think the era of technology has swallowed the culture of togetherness,” he added.
“Do you think young people nowadays would wake up at 7 in the morning on Sunday to pick up rubbish in the streets? We should make the campaign more interesting and make the young people eager to join in the activities.”
Another volunteer in the cleaning campaign is civil servant Omar Hj Md Ali, who works for the local Fire and Rescue Department.
The 47-year-old is also a resident of Kg Madang. During the campaign, he collected a full bag of rubbish that contained plastic wrapping, pieces of glass, bottles and boxes.
He said irresponsible people should stop littering streets because it’s an embarrassment to the country.
“The challenge we’re facing today is how to discipline an individual to form a responsible community,” said Omar.
In response, Acting Brunei-Muara District Officer Md Sunadi Hj Buntar suggested that the habit of cleanliness should be integrated into school curriculums to attract more young people to participate in cleaning campaigns.
“We should acknowledge the younger generation during their early stage of schooling such as integrating the habit of cleanliness into MIB (Malay Muslim Monarchy) curriculum,” he said.
Md Sunadi added that educating children about the importance of cleanliness early would encourage them to become responsible individuals in the future.
“We need to instill civic mindedness among the young generation when they’re still young so they will become responsible toward the condition of their villages.”
Penghulu Mukim Berakas B Pg Hj Ali Pg Hj Maon urged people to throw rubbish in designated places to preserve the Sultanate’s image.
The Brunei Times