Religious belief brings growth and prosperity
By Za'im Zaini and Aemy Azlena

"Make it our guidance to make us work diligently and efficiently until it leads to a quality achievement and higher productivity.

This was the observation on "akidah" or religious belief made by His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam in a titah at the opening of the Knowledge Convention yesterday morning.

His Majesty said that we must be aware that akidah is a lifelong issue. Activities that are against the akidah are commonplace and not many realise that these activities can bring major destruction and loss.

Some simple examples given by His Majesty included stealing, alcohol consumption and misuse of drugs. These, said His Majesty, are among the many activities that are against the belief.

"Can't we see the destruction and loss that awaits them?" asked the monarch.

The ruler said that those involved in such activities show that they are not fully committed to the belief else they would have avoided them (activities which are considered haram) in the first place.

So, therein lies the nobleness and importance of akidah, His Majesty added.

Touching on the available mechanism to produce a generation with strong beliefs, His Majesty pointed to facilities, capabilities, agencies, schemes and programmes with complete infrastructure, all of which can bring prolonged security.

The monarch said what needs to be done is to review those mechanisms and master its implementation paradigm so that the objective of a society with strong religious belief in attaining prosperity, development and growth can be fully achieved.

His Majesty said a society with strong religious beliefs is a society that excels, its character fully developing and not destroying or disturbing the development of the country and nation.

Meanwhile, on the Knowledge Convention, His Majesty said that it continues to garner support and interest from many because of its unique presentation as well as fulfilling the characteristics of knowledge and civilisation. For this reason, the convention must come out with fresh agendas.

Reflecting on past themes of the convention, His Majesty said that it began by providing a proper perspective on the functions of a mosque, then on education and professionalism for quality and productivity and last year on sovereignty as the pillar for survival of the nation.

This year, the Knowledge Convention brings a theme related to akidah as hope and prayer for a society with strong beliefs that is blessed by Allah.

The monarch said the theme shows us the way of life as the akidah has stated, whether in the way we think, plan or implement any forms of programmes.

Also present at the event yesterday were His Royal Highness Prince Hj Al-Muhtadee Billah, the Crown Prince and Senior Minister at the Prime Minister's office, HRH Prince Mohamed Bolkiah, HRH Prince Abdul Azim and HRH Prince Abdul Malik. - Borneo Bulletin (25th July 2007)