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Tradition the key to solving social ills,

forum hears
A forum in Cairns has heard remote Indigenous communities could draw on 'traditional
ways' to help overcome social problems.
The Cape York Institute has drawn together a range of speakers to discuss how to instil
positive behaviour in remote communities.
Aboriginal child psychiatrist Professor Helen Milroy told the forum that Indigenous
parents need to draw on their traditional nurturing roles.
"We had very good social and cultural norms in place many, many years ago, otherwise
we wouldn't have been a culture that survived for well over 60,000 years," he said.
Economist, Professor Ron Duncan said the collective nature of Indigenous communities
made running profitable businesses difficult.
"Education of Australian Aboriginal children to enable them to move out of their
communities to work in the market economy seems to me to be a necessity dimension of
their future," he said.
The forum continues today.

Overcome 'busybody' mindset best way to

curb social ills
Nela Awang

Sunday, December 9, 2007

IT IS in the common perception amongst Bruneians to not interfere with other

people's business as long as it does not involve them directly.

This perception is also adopted when dealing with social ills, especially on
immoral acts among the society, where most people tend to ignore the fact
that it is happening where the consequences can affect everyone.

According to Jurimah Hj Abd Halim, most people would not file a report to the
authorities if they, by any chance, have any information regarding immoral
acts, especially when those involved were locals, neighbours, or even
"We live in a culture that, if we put ourselves in other people business, we
would be labelled as a 'busybody' and from then on, they would talk badly
about our individual or family matters," she said.

The teacher also expressed her concern that these 'immoral acts' among
Muslim teenagers, such as hugging in public places has been allowed to
become a growing trend, due to the public's general ignorance.

Not only that, they (teenagers) have become more expressive and open
about their social conduct that they do not care if they become the centre of
public attention, she elaborated further.

The common perception of being a 'busybody' also applied to Ardy Sabtu,

who prefers to keep silent other than getting himself become involved in
other people matters.

However, if these acts somehow affected him directly, he would not think
twice to report it to the authorities.

"As long as they do not bother me, I do bother them, as they would be the
ones who would suffer the consequences," the 25-year old explained.

He also mentioned that if he is related to those involved, he would first advise

them, and if that did not he work, only then, would he report them.

"At some point, there were stubborn people that just do not listen to what
people said, and if they don't, there is nothing more that we can do for them,
other than hope that they would gradually realise their mistake and change
themselves," he said.

A fifty year-old housewife, said it was 'kind of' her responsibility to report to
the authorities if she witnessed such acts, as a mother and as a human being.

"I would report them to the authorities, and then, it is up to them to take the
actions as I think I have done my part," she went on to say.

Hjh Aisah Hj Ahmad said that, it is sad to see these kind of acts, in a Muslim
country and everyone should be involved in some way to help curb or
eradicate these growing social ills.

Hjh Asiah attributed that, people do not report any immoral occurrences due
to the general Bruneian social perception of being afraid to be labelled as
"I think, if we are busybody about other people, they would then do the same
thing to us," she added.

The idea to eradicate these social ills as soon as possible, is supported by Dk

Effa Hayatul Pg Majida, who had a personal encounter with such occurrences.

She explained that there was a couple who performed an immoral act at a
dark corner of her house, which happened almost every night.

She then told her father about the matter, who took the initiative of reporting
it to the village head.

"The village head responded immediately to the matter, in which he, himself
went to the couple and asked them to leave, and they never came back," she

Although there is no guarantee that the couple she mentioned never

repeated the act elsewhere, at least, she is proud to know that she has done
her part by being aware of it.

The graduate said that it was everyone's duty to help the government in
reducing these kind of acts, which would tarnish the good name of the
country and its people.

The Brunei Times

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