International Children's Day in Brunei 2012

Together with the world, Brunei celebrated Children's Day on 20th November 2012. The event was opened officially by the Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports who spoke about concerns of abuse and threat to children. Here is Brunei Times news report about the Children's Day celebrations in Brunei:-

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Kuala Belait, 20th November 2012 - A CURRENT phenomena of unlawful treatment of innocent young children who are abandoned and are unable to fend for themselves was highlighted as a cause for concern by the Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports (MCYS) during the Children's Day celebration yesterday.

Therefore, it is with much hope that the world wide celebration, would serve as a reminder for people to realise their mistakes and halt any unlawful actions that threaten children's rights, said Yang Berhormat Pehin Orang Kaya Pekerma Laila Diraja Dato Seri Setia Hj Hazair Hj Abdullah.

More so for parents as they play an integral role in shaping their children's future as they are the future generation who will carry on the cultural tradition of the country. Hence, they should push their children towards becoming assets to the country, YB Pehin Dato Hj Hazair said.

The minister then elaborated that children who are nurtured and taught early are more likely to succeed in their life as an individual who are disciplined, motivated and have good morals as they will better integrate themselves in society if they are given love and will be more compassionate and sensitive towards their surroundings.

The Minister visiting the exhibition booths during the Children's Day celebrations in Kuala Belait.
(Photo: Borneo Bulletin)
Another important factor in nurturing children is for parents to communicate with them, said the Minister. By communicating with their children, parents will be able to understand and encourage their children when they have problems. This includes giving support to their children even if they want to pursue something that is different to the parents' wishes as long as what the children want is in accordance to religious teachings and is morally good.

However, children would also have to do their part. They should distance themselves from negative social behaviour and instead equip themselves with good values, a sense of responsibility, discipline, competitiveness and creativity to prepare themselves for success, the minister pointed out.

YB Pehin Dato Hj Hazair then added that children in this country have been blessed with various facilities and support in terms of health, education, protection from the law, a peaceful environment and welfare assistance from the government.

The minister's speech was part of the opening ceremony of a Children's Day two-day celebration organised by The Department of Community Development (JAPEM). The world wide celebration aims to promote the safety, peace and welfare of children and to let children know of their rights.

This aim will be reinforced at the celebration in which Hjh Misnah Hj Bolhassan, Director of Community Development at JAPEM and chairwoman of the celebration, said in her opening speech that on the second day, the students will take part in a discussion to identify issues among children. The students will also be given the chance to share their individual issues during one of the group sessions as part of the rights of children to speak out on their views.

On the sidelines of the ceremony, The Brunei Times interviewed some students who were present at the ceremony held at the Conference Hall in Kuala Belait (KB).

According to Year Nine students Nur Ema Mohd Shadan and Faazieqa Saang from Chung Ching Secondary School in Seria, children are prone to negative influence from adults such as smoking, taking drugs and underaged driving. They feel that more should be done to discourage children from venturing into negative behaviour.

Whereas, Juwairiyah Erawan, a Year 10 student from Perdana Wazir Secondary School in KB, suggested that schools should organise more activities for the students to give them more things to pursue in their free time. She feels that by providing more activities for students, students will less likely loiter in public places and meet with negative influence. Some of the suggestions she shared include organising talent shows, visits to places after school exams and having interschool sports events.

A hundred and fifty students from a number of primary and secondary schools in Belait and Tutong districts will be involved in the forum-based celebration. At the forum, the students will be given the opportunity to share their views on all aspects that are related to children.

Baiduri Bank Group is the main sponsor for the celebration this year. Other sponsors include Sunlit Advertising Sdn Bhd and BruCERT.

-- Courtesy of The Brunei Times --

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