Call to create a national entrepreneurship policy programme in Brunei

Reading Time: 6 minutes

people of bruneiIn this rapidly changing world, no one should be left out in the policy-making process. To exclude anyone slows down national growth. Next, the nation would lose out on fresh ideas, and even worse, would only succeed in making its citizens largely self-interested and passive, devoid of any long-lasting contribution to the country. Thus, young people have to be included in the process. It is important for the Bruneian society to learn and to understand this if it intends to build Wawasan 2035 – the country’s national vision – successfully.

If Brunei would implement a more pro-inclusive framework policy, such as in its entrepreneurship programme policy, it would stand a better chance of adjusting itself to the changing ages. The people and the nation would be better off in the long-run. Brunei would also improve remarkably when it comes to ultimately diversify away from its finite resources, oil and gas, thereby strengthen its economic base.

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

Which goes back to the experience which I faced when I was advised by the lady to “stay quiet” just because “we were young” and “hence ignorant”. No. I do not believe anyone is better off just because he or she is “different”, especially if that difference is based on age.

A kid might have better ideas to fix a problem than a double-PhD would. The essence of such a situation is: Is everybody given the opportunity to talk about their ideas? Or would the kid be shut from the room, while the double-PhD got all the ears? The former shows an inclusive framework, the latter an extractive.

Another example is decision-making in times of war. Wouldn’t a strategist shape his decisions by a larger number of options rather than having to recourse to only one? Common sense tells that the solution is the former. The more information, the better the decisions are.

An inclusive framework as a rule involves all parts of society to have a say in a national decision process, no matter the “difference” that may entail. An extractive framework, on the other hand, excludes segments of a society by any “difference” there is, such as age. For Brunei to succeed in the long-run it has to implement a pro-inclusive framework.

The lady would then argue that the youths do not know anything beyond “playing their PS3 games or iPhones”.

There are cases in which that is obviously very true. No one is eager to include a sixth-form student to make a NASA spacecraft. But there is a big difference in attitude within inclusive and extractive framework.

In an extractive framework, that sixth-form student would be told to continue his studies or asked to keep quiet. Within an inclusive framework, the NASA people would at least give the child a bit of exposure to express ideas and suggestions. The attitude would also be encapsulated as follows: “Tell me your ideas. It is ok if you are wrong. Do not worry. At least you tried. And even if you fail, from these failures you can improve yourself. From these failure can you derive strength and inspiration. So when the time comes, you can join us or at least make great changes to your chosen field of endeavour one day. But if you do succeed then congrats!”

Why do young people matter? After all, Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong were children once. Even the great American physicist and Nobel Prize winner, Richard Feynman, derived his early inspiration to dive into physics from his father quizzing him about sciences in his early childhood.

Thus, as a reply to the lady mentioned earlier (if she is reading this right now): If we do not give the youths a chance, then we will never know. Next, if we exclude them, they will in turn become passive, self-interested citizen devoid from making any lasting contribution to the country.

But if we do involve them, we might just be surprised by the ideas they have. And if they do fail to come up with ideas, there is no reason of not becoming better next time.

What is the objective of this article? It is to request all decision-makers to realise that having a pro-inclusive framework greatly enhances the chances of Brunei to adjust to the changing realities of the 21st century. Doing so would also give the youths the chance to share their ideas. Even if their ideas are bad and are not implemented at first, it at least gives them the self-confidence to suggest changes at a later point of time knowing that their ‘ideas were heard and considered’. And when ideas are good, it is better for the entire nation.

In the bid of realising Wawasan 2035, Brunei has to build a pro-inclusive framework to close the ranks of its people to enjoin the cause that would make us better off in the end. No one should be left behind just because one is different, especially in age.

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

However, the inclusive framework policy has also its limitations. If people do not show up or stay quiet when asked for their ideas, what is the point for the public sector of holding, say, an “ideas forum” in the first place? What if trying to engage the “unengaged public” fails? Such programmes would only waste government money.

But let’s bear in mind that there is a long-road ahead, and if we persist in this process, we can increase the chance of digging out the treasures that lie in the people. Treasures are a rare find. But once found, it will make every effort worth the patience.

Apart from oil and gas, our treasure is none other than human capital. Thus, we must better utilise the country’s human capital in order to boost national economic growth. Nothing intensifies the unlocking of that hidden treasure more than involving the youths in the decision-making process through a pro-inclusive national framework.

In this article, I ultimately call for the creation of a pro-inclusive national entrepreneurship policy programme that would include representatives from both the government and the private sector, and those from the rest of the society who are interested, such as students or teachers, to suggest ideas that are aimed at building roadmaps to enhance entrepreneurship in the country. Everyone should be given the chance to suggest ideas. As said, if the ideas are bad, so what? They can learn to be better in the end. If the ideas are good, then I don’t see why we should not consider or implement it.

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

 

Abdul Malik OmarAbdul Malik Omar is an Investvine contributor. The opinions expressed are his own.

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Reading Time: 6 minutes

In this rapidly changing world, no one should be left out in the policy-making process. To exclude anyone slows down national growth. Next, the nation would lose out on fresh ideas, and even worse, would only succeed in making its citizens largely self-interested and passive, devoid of any long-lasting contribution to the country. Thus, young people have to be included in the process. It is important for the Bruneian society to learn and to understand this if it intends to build Wawasan 2035 – the country’s national vision – successfully.

Reading Time: 6 minutes

people of bruneiIn this rapidly changing world, no one should be left out in the policy-making process. To exclude anyone slows down national growth. Next, the nation would lose out on fresh ideas, and even worse, would only succeed in making its citizens largely self-interested and passive, devoid of any long-lasting contribution to the country. Thus, young people have to be included in the process. It is important for the Bruneian society to learn and to understand this if it intends to build Wawasan 2035 – the country’s national vision – successfully.

If Brunei would implement a more pro-inclusive framework policy, such as in its entrepreneurship programme policy, it would stand a better chance of adjusting itself to the changing ages. The people and the nation would be better off in the long-run. Brunei would also improve remarkably when it comes to ultimately diversify away from its finite resources, oil and gas, thereby strengthen its economic base.

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

Which goes back to the experience which I faced when I was advised by the lady to “stay quiet” just because “we were young” and “hence ignorant”. No. I do not believe anyone is better off just because he or she is “different”, especially if that difference is based on age.

A kid might have better ideas to fix a problem than a double-PhD would. The essence of such a situation is: Is everybody given the opportunity to talk about their ideas? Or would the kid be shut from the room, while the double-PhD got all the ears? The former shows an inclusive framework, the latter an extractive.

Another example is decision-making in times of war. Wouldn’t a strategist shape his decisions by a larger number of options rather than having to recourse to only one? Common sense tells that the solution is the former. The more information, the better the decisions are.

An inclusive framework as a rule involves all parts of society to have a say in a national decision process, no matter the “difference” that may entail. An extractive framework, on the other hand, excludes segments of a society by any “difference” there is, such as age. For Brunei to succeed in the long-run it has to implement a pro-inclusive framework.

The lady would then argue that the youths do not know anything beyond “playing their PS3 games or iPhones”.

There are cases in which that is obviously very true. No one is eager to include a sixth-form student to make a NASA spacecraft. But there is a big difference in attitude within inclusive and extractive framework.

In an extractive framework, that sixth-form student would be told to continue his studies or asked to keep quiet. Within an inclusive framework, the NASA people would at least give the child a bit of exposure to express ideas and suggestions. The attitude would also be encapsulated as follows: “Tell me your ideas. It is ok if you are wrong. Do not worry. At least you tried. And even if you fail, from these failures you can improve yourself. From these failure can you derive strength and inspiration. So when the time comes, you can join us or at least make great changes to your chosen field of endeavour one day. But if you do succeed then congrats!”

Why do young people matter? After all, Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong were children once. Even the great American physicist and Nobel Prize winner, Richard Feynman, derived his early inspiration to dive into physics from his father quizzing him about sciences in his early childhood.

Thus, as a reply to the lady mentioned earlier (if she is reading this right now): If we do not give the youths a chance, then we will never know. Next, if we exclude them, they will in turn become passive, self-interested citizen devoid from making any lasting contribution to the country.

But if we do involve them, we might just be surprised by the ideas they have. And if they do fail to come up with ideas, there is no reason of not becoming better next time.

What is the objective of this article? It is to request all decision-makers to realise that having a pro-inclusive framework greatly enhances the chances of Brunei to adjust to the changing realities of the 21st century. Doing so would also give the youths the chance to share their ideas. Even if their ideas are bad and are not implemented at first, it at least gives them the self-confidence to suggest changes at a later point of time knowing that their ‘ideas were heard and considered’. And when ideas are good, it is better for the entire nation.

In the bid of realising Wawasan 2035, Brunei has to build a pro-inclusive framework to close the ranks of its people to enjoin the cause that would make us better off in the end. No one should be left behind just because one is different, especially in age.

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

However, the inclusive framework policy has also its limitations. If people do not show up or stay quiet when asked for their ideas, what is the point for the public sector of holding, say, an “ideas forum” in the first place? What if trying to engage the “unengaged public” fails? Such programmes would only waste government money.

But let’s bear in mind that there is a long-road ahead, and if we persist in this process, we can increase the chance of digging out the treasures that lie in the people. Treasures are a rare find. But once found, it will make every effort worth the patience.

Apart from oil and gas, our treasure is none other than human capital. Thus, we must better utilise the country’s human capital in order to boost national economic growth. Nothing intensifies the unlocking of that hidden treasure more than involving the youths in the decision-making process through a pro-inclusive national framework.

In this article, I ultimately call for the creation of a pro-inclusive national entrepreneurship policy programme that would include representatives from both the government and the private sector, and those from the rest of the society who are interested, such as students or teachers, to suggest ideas that are aimed at building roadmaps to enhance entrepreneurship in the country. Everyone should be given the chance to suggest ideas. As said, if the ideas are bad, so what? They can learn to be better in the end. If the ideas are good, then I don’t see why we should not consider or implement it.

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

 

Abdul Malik OmarAbdul Malik Omar is an Investvine contributor. The opinions expressed are his own.

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