A COUPLE of postings I saw recently in some popular bloggers’ chat-boxes asked if there were jobs available for them.. most probably the chatters making such enquiries in open public domains are young and fresh school-leavers.
Last Friday, a friend was asking me if I could help his son with only ‘O’ Levels to look for a job. Over the years, I’ve met many unemployed Bruneians seeking jobs which seem endlessly futile for a large majority of them. Local Labour statistics put the jobless figures at around 7 thousand at present. I doubt if it’s really an accurate figure, given that there are hundreds more of the unemployed who do not bother to register with the Labour Job Centre (particularly those between the ages of 35 and 55).
Just the other day, I read in the local daily newspaper about a jobless 52-year-old Bruneian man charged with theft! 😦 Last Sunday’s Borneo Bulletin reported that an unemployed 40-year-old Bruneian guy had been charged with illegal possession of a home-made shotgun which he and his partner-in-crime made themselves! (These unemployed locals are capable of doing anything out of desperation!). Another easy bucks way out for them is in the menacing drug trade. More and more Bruneians have been brought to courts (not in Brunei but outside of the country) for illegal drug peddling or smuggling. It can indeed be a vicious cycle of circumstances to be in, being unemployed, that is.
His Majesty’s Government has done much to try and solve the unemployment problem but the government can only do so much (*sigh*). Since most of the jobless are Bruneian Malay Muslims, another better alternative for the jobless is to enhance their spiritual belief in order to strengthen their “Akidah” or “Iman” (Islamic Faith).
I think the “Pusat Dakwah” Centre of the Religious Affairs Ministry in close cooperation with the Labour Department of the Home Affairs Ministry as well as the Social Welfare Department of the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports should try and look at the viability of introducing both motivational and religious courses for the unemployed. It would at least address the issue of hopelessness or low self-esteem problems being faced by these jobless people.
Having said that, a strong faith in Islam could possibly deter the unemployed from committing any sinful actions which may pose dire consequences to their future. In the meantime, drastic measures to stem the growing problem of unemployment in this country is urgently called for (actually, it was highlighted during the recent LegCo). I see no point in blaming job-seekers of being choosy because not all of them are… they earnestly want to put in more efforts to look for decent jobs, no matter what the workscope entails, be it in the Civil Service or the Private Sector i.e. SME firms, etc. I don’t know why can’t these hundreds of jobless Bruneians be rounded up and be guided to form a Cooperative or something so that they can try to be independent minding their own business? United in strength in numbers and multi-skillings, they could form as simple as grass-cutting enterprise or even a small construction company building private homes or doing menial renovation work, etc.
(There’s no end to this)