Call to create a national entrepreneurship policy programme in Brunei

Reading Time: 6 minutes

Brunei AbdulA few years ago, I sat down and talked to a local lady in Brunei. We managed to discuss the entrepreneurial scenery in the country. I lamented at her that many of my friends are frustrated for not being able to take part in consulting the government to enhance its entrepreneurship policy programmes.

“There are many bright young people I know who just want to propose ideas for the public sector in this area, that, if implemented, would have us, the young entrepreneurs, and the nation better off as a whole. But their hopes just shatter when no one is there to show up or to listen to us. Furthermore, there is no obvious person in charge we could refer to,” I commented.

The lady – she worked in the private sector – to my surprise replied, somewhat angrily,  that “my friends and I are naturally ignorant.” She then continued how “people of my age (I was then seventeen) would be better off to stay quiet.”

“You think you guys know, but you do not. But all of you are ignorant,” she commented. “So be quiet.”

If there is such a thing as disempowerment, that was it. Looking back at the experience, I did not feel angry about the lady. I only feel felt sad and disappointed. In a rapidly changing world, how can we, the young people, just stay quiet? Why was there the need for her wanting to exclude a large part of the society (youth makes up over 45 per cent of Brunei’s populace) from suggesting ideas such for a national entrepreneurship policy?

Inside Brunei 2013/14
Inside Brunei 2013/14
Buy now and get 42 page Brunei 2012 report FREE
$19.95

As a rule, no great nation has ever excluded any part of its society from trying to suggest or give ideas for the state to implement. The Spanish region of Andalusia, when it was under Moorish rule from the 8th to the 15th century, it entered its Golden Age when everyone could suggest ideas and take part in the decision-making process. Jews, Christians and Muslims were brothers and sisters alike, and all were equal before the law set by the then Caliphate.

This civilisation rose to one of the most powerful, richest and culturally significant empires of its time. It was there where Greek and Roman philosophy was preserved and regenerated, and later infused to trigger what would eventually become known as the Renaissance. If there had never been a Muslim Andalusia, Europe would have got stuck in the Dark Ages, and as a result history would have been significantly different today.

What made Andalusia so great? Simply, they had an inclusive framework. An inclusive framework is a public policy theory conjured by the authors of “Why Nations Fail”, a book highly recommend by many leaders today, where it is defined as a framework to enable society to suggest and to have a say in the national policy process regardless of its differences.

Those nations that implement this framework usually succeed in the long run, the authors of “Why Nations Fail” argue.

An exact opposite of the inclusive framework is what they would call “extractive framework”. It is a process to discredit and exclude segments of a population from the decision-making process. When Andalusia eventually was re-occupied by the Christian Spanish, they introduced the inquisition, a process to weed out Muslim and Jewish elements in a formerly Islamic empire. Quickly, the Muslim civilisation of Andalusia disintegrated. Many Jews and Muslims perished in the fighting the and those who stayed alive, escaped.

As karma would have it, Spain subsequently destroyed itself from the inside with the divisive, extractive nature of its framework. According to Harvard historian Niall Ferguson in his great book “The Ascent of Money: A Financial History of the World”, Spain subsequently experienced 23 civil wars, went bankrupt for more than 16 times, and was humiliatingly conquered by its neighbouring state, the then French Republic.

(continued on next page)

Inside Brunei 2013/14
Inside Brunei 2013/14
Buy now and get 42 page Brunei 2012 report FREE
$19.95


 

Do you like this post?
  • Fascinated
  • Happy
  • Sad
  • Angry
  • Bored
  • Afraid

A few years ago, I sat down and talked to a local lady in Brunei. We managed to discuss the entrepreneurial scenery in the country. I lamented at her that many of my friends are frustrated for not being able to take part in consulting the government to enhance its entrepreneurship policy programmes. “There are many bright young people I know who just want to propose ideas for the public sector in this area, that, if implemented, would have us, the young entrepreneurs, and the nation better off as a whole. But their hopes just shatter when no one is...

Reading Time: 6 minutes

Brunei AbdulA few years ago, I sat down and talked to a local lady in Brunei. We managed to discuss the entrepreneurial scenery in the country. I lamented at her that many of my friends are frustrated for not being able to take part in consulting the government to enhance its entrepreneurship policy programmes.

“There are many bright young people I know who just want to propose ideas for the public sector in this area, that, if implemented, would have us, the young entrepreneurs, and the nation better off as a whole. But their hopes just shatter when no one is there to show up or to listen to us. Furthermore, there is no obvious person in charge we could refer to,” I commented.

The lady – she worked in the private sector – to my surprise replied, somewhat angrily,  that “my friends and I are naturally ignorant.” She then continued how “people of my age (I was then seventeen) would be better off to stay quiet.”

“You think you guys know, but you do not. But all of you are ignorant,” she commented. “So be quiet.”

If there is such a thing as disempowerment, that was it. Looking back at the experience, I did not feel angry about the lady. I only feel felt sad and disappointed. In a rapidly changing world, how can we, the young people, just stay quiet? Why was there the need for her wanting to exclude a large part of the society (youth makes up over 45 per cent of Brunei’s populace) from suggesting ideas such for a national entrepreneurship policy?

Inside Brunei 2013/14
Inside Brunei 2013/14
Buy now and get 42 page Brunei 2012 report FREE
$19.95

As a rule, no great nation has ever excluded any part of its society from trying to suggest or give ideas for the state to implement. The Spanish region of Andalusia, when it was under Moorish rule from the 8th to the 15th century, it entered its Golden Age when everyone could suggest ideas and take part in the decision-making process. Jews, Christians and Muslims were brothers and sisters alike, and all were equal before the law set by the then Caliphate.

This civilisation rose to one of the most powerful, richest and culturally significant empires of its time. It was there where Greek and Roman philosophy was preserved and regenerated, and later infused to trigger what would eventually become known as the Renaissance. If there had never been a Muslim Andalusia, Europe would have got stuck in the Dark Ages, and as a result history would have been significantly different today.

What made Andalusia so great? Simply, they had an inclusive framework. An inclusive framework is a public policy theory conjured by the authors of “Why Nations Fail”, a book highly recommend by many leaders today, where it is defined as a framework to enable society to suggest and to have a say in the national policy process regardless of its differences.

Those nations that implement this framework usually succeed in the long run, the authors of “Why Nations Fail” argue.

An exact opposite of the inclusive framework is what they would call “extractive framework”. It is a process to discredit and exclude segments of a population from the decision-making process. When Andalusia eventually was re-occupied by the Christian Spanish, they introduced the inquisition, a process to weed out Muslim and Jewish elements in a formerly Islamic empire. Quickly, the Muslim civilisation of Andalusia disintegrated. Many Jews and Muslims perished in the fighting the and those who stayed alive, escaped.

As karma would have it, Spain subsequently destroyed itself from the inside with the divisive, extractive nature of its framework. According to Harvard historian Niall Ferguson in his great book “The Ascent of Money: A Financial History of the World”, Spain subsequently experienced 23 civil wars, went bankrupt for more than 16 times, and was humiliatingly conquered by its neighbouring state, the then French Republic.

(continued on next page)

Inside Brunei 2013/14
Inside Brunei 2013/14
Buy now and get 42 page Brunei 2012 report FREE
$19.95


 

Do you like this post?
  • Fascinated
  • Happy
  • Sad
  • Angry
  • Bored
  • Afraid