Malay Islamic Monarchy: Practice and Appreciation (MIB Series)


Malay Islamic Monarchy: Practice and Appreciation
on: March 27, 2017

| Dr Haji Muhammad Hadi bin Md Melayong
Senior Special Duties Officer, Secretariat Office, MIB Supreme Council |

SINCE the proclamation of Brunei Darussalam as a Malay Islamic Monarchy (MIB) state in 1984, His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Haji Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien Sa’adul Khairi Waddien, Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam has been tirelessly advising his subjects to not only practise, but to understand and appreciate the values of MIB.

He had decreed that MIB is a gift from Allah the Almighty and the pearl of the nation that acts as a firewall to filter foreign influences that may contradict with Brunei values.

Since Brunei Darussalam achieved its independence 33 years ago, approximately 49 titahs touching on MIB topics have been delivered by His Majesty.

He had stressed the importance of MIB as a way of life for Bruneians which should be practiced within government administration as well.

A study conducted by the Secretariat of the Supreme Council of MIB in the past six years has concluded that the understanding and practise of MIB among Bruneians had significantly improved in comparison to before Brunei’s independence.

The positive result of this study can be seen through the country’s prosperity and tranquility, which is enjoyed by the subjects of Brunei Darussalam.

A study on the impact of MIB on society for the last 30 years was conducted through data analysis from government ministries that assessed Malay Language and Islamic Religious Knowledge ‘O’ Level examinations results. Positive findings were made from this study.

The in-depth appreciation of MIB practice is believed to have directly contributed to the decrease in the number of social ill activities in the country such as drug abuse, robbery, theft, murder and adultery in the 30 years since independence.

Despite the lack of a comprehensive study on MIB, a number of activities implemented by the Secretariat of the Supreme Council of MIB has concluded that the overall understanding, practice and appreciation of MIB in the community of Brunei, consisting of civil servants, uniformed personnel, chiefs, headmen and grassroots villagers, youth, students and rural communities are at an acceptable level.

Among other findings made by the Secretariat of the Supreme Council of Malay Islamic Monarchy are as follows:

1. The 2015 Study on Appreciation of MIB in secondary schools in Brunei Darussalam showed that 66.5 per cent of students have come to know, understand, practise and appreciate the MIB values.

2. The results of the research on Appreciation of MIB philosophy among residents in Temburong has shown that appreciation of the MIB philosophy is still at moderate levels in the area.

3. The Secretariat of the Supreme Council of MIB has been entrusted to handle the MIB programme in the National Service Programme (PKBN) since November 2011, and found that as many as 87 per cent of the trainers who have followed the programme have said that they already know, understand, adopt and embrace these MIB concept.

4. The research on activities of Muzakarah on the Bruneian values in the context of MIB concept among government officials which has been conducted since March 2015, has shown that as many as 92 per cent of government officials have been aware of, understood, practised and embraced the MIB values concerned. Also, there was a 100 per cent pass rate for government officials and public relations officers who sat for the MIB exam in January 2016.

5. The briefing of MIB topics for students who will be going for further studies abroad has shown that as much as 75 per cent of students are aware of, understood, and practised MIB.

6. A study conducted in 2011 on former non-Bruneians – specifically 220 Brunei citizenship recipients – has indicated that 89 per cent know and understand the MIB philosophy.

7. In upholding the titah of His Majesty, the Secretariat of the Supreme Council of MIB has made efforts to spread the philosophy of MIB abroad through the presentation of papers in the Asean region.

On the 21st of Syawal, 1437H corresponding to July 26, 2016, the Secretariat Office of the Supreme Council of MIB presented its papers ‘Malay Islamic Monarchy: Perspective History’ in the International Seminar of Archaeology, History, Language and Culture in the Malay in Ujung Pandang, Makassar, Indonesia.

Whereas from August 24-25, 2016, a paper titled ‘Malay Islamic Monarchy as Brunei identity’ was presented at the Congress of the International Society of Linguistics Indonesia in Bali.

Feedback from talk participants was overwhelmingly good, with many very impressed with and expressing their profound admiration and appreciation for the MIB philosophy in Brunei Darussalam – a country in the Malay archipelago that still maintains its monarchial political power and dignity which constitutes the Malay identity and heritage from past generations.

It is hoped that our generation of today will not only practise, but learn to appreciate and understand the values of Malay Islamic Monarchy; Insya Allah the status of MIB in Brunei Darussalam will endure forever. Aamiin.

Courtesy of Borneo Bulletin

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