Digital Waves, Sustainable Horizons


The rapid evolution of digital technologies, including artificial intelligence (AI) and blockchain, is revolutionising all facets of human life, offering unique opportunities for societal and economic enhancement.

To fully leverage these benefits, empowering the next generation to lead innovation and integrate digital solutions is crucial. However, this progress must be balanced with sustainability, considering its long-term impacts on society and the environment.

In interviews with Borneo Bulletin, a Legislative Council (LegCo) member discusses Brunei’s digital future, while two pioneering youth lead the way towards greener practices and brighter prospects for the next generation of Bruneians.

Digital Waves

“The vision for Brunei Darussalam’s future economy and its identity post- Brunei Vision 2035 hinges on our ability to foster an innovative generation,” said LegCo member Yang Berhormat Chong Chin Yee.

Referring to the Digital 2023 Global Overview Report, she highlighted Brunei’s impressive social media engagement, ranking the country fourth globally in usage per capita.

This achievement, she shared, is a pivotal step towards addressing broader digital literacy challenges. It extends beyond social media proficiency to include comprehensive skills in navigating, understanding and leveraging technology in various contexts. In order to facilitate such advancements, it is important for the country to “elevate local manpower and talent, ensuring they are equipped for the demands and opportunities of a digital future”.

For her, the transformative impact of technology on economies is undeniable and Brunei seems to be anticipating the windfall by upskilling its people with vital information and communication technology (ICT) skills through initiatives such as the Brunei ICT Industry Competency Framework (BIICF).

“The question now is how we can further integrate technology to enhance productivity and quality of life, ensuring our industries are prepared to nurture entrylevel talent into seasoned professionals.”

An advocate for integrating computational thinking and coding into the national curriculum, the LegCo member said it is imperative for individuals, especially youth to develop robust digital skills.

“As AI becomes more embedded in our daily experiences, the need for enhanced media literacy and computational thinking becomes increasingly critical. However, the rapid pace of technological advancement prompts a crucial reflection on our approach. It’s not merely about keeping pace with emerging trends but about establishing a resilient and adaptable foundation for our digital infrastructure,” she said.

Sustainable Horizons

As Brunei’s digital landscape continues to ascend, a group of young Bruneians is effecting change on the ground, harnessing technology to advance their sustainable agenda in food and job security.

On the seafront, fish farmer Ahmad Fathi bin Dr Haji Norarfan is seizing an opportunity in the burgeoning aquaculture industry, aiming to meet the country’s growing fish demand while advocating for more sustainable aquaculture practices.

He is the founder of Fatih Aquaculture, a sea cage aquaculture farm spanning two hectares across two primary locations. Mindful of its environmental impact, his vision has always been to establish a sustainable fish farm. He began operating on Pulau Kaingaran since 2022 and has implemented sustainable practices, including the use of solar lights and high-density polyethylene (HDPE) pipes, as his farm expanded from 24 to 50 cages.

An awardee of the Excellent Project for Youth Award during the National Youth Day celebration in 2023, Ahmad Fathi believes that sustainability practices are crucial for ensuring food security within a country. While the country has a significant amount of imports, he said producing locally can help meet the demand.

“I encourage people to focus on sustainability not only in terms of nature but also in addressing real problems like food security and employment rates. My goal is sustainability, and to achieve this, we must prioritise addressing these issues.

“In the long run, we also need to conserve nature itself, as it is essential for the world to thrive. Industries that rely on nature should be mindful not to disturb it too much,” said Ahmad Fathi.

Meanwhile on a societal level, founder of Mavensdotlive and current president of the Young Entrepreneurs Association Brunei (YEAB) Goh Chai Li aims to inspire today’s youth towards new career possibilities.

Previously a lecturer at Politeknik Brunei, Goh has been unwavering in her efforts to revolutionise student learning by offering public classes and fostering collaborations to bring together a diverse range of experts. Her goal is to create a learning environment that transcends traditional school boundaries and ultimately, to make learning accessible and comprehensive for all.

In 2024, her initiative, Career Discovery, sought to expand the limited career options for young people, providing them with new pathways for exploration and empowerment. The Connecting Hearts programme, also launched this year, focuses on the NEET (not in education, employment or training) group, utilising gamification and a wellness framework to enhance growth mindset and work readiness in a holistic manner.

Furthermore, her Leading Lights initiative, implemented last year, received recognition through the Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative (YSEALI) alumni grant and the 100 Excellence Actions of Youth Development award.

“As we look ahead, this recognition motivates us to broaden our impact network, aiming to make a substantial difference in the lives and careers of young people worldwide. For young individuals aspiring to create impact, I advise believing in oneself, maintaining persistence, and advocating passionately. Meaningful change takes time, and embracing challenges is crucial,” said Goh.


Brunei Press Publications