Bandar Seri Begawan - More voluntarism should be encouraged when it comes to work relating to religion.
This was the point made by YB Pehin Orang Kaya Laila Setia Bakti Diraja Dato Laila Utama Hj Awg Isa bin Pehin Datu Perdana Manteri Dato Laila Utama Hj Ibrahim, Speaker of the Legislative Council during yesterday's meeting, which dealt with the topic of religious affairs.
Speaking at the conclusion of the topic, he said "I wish to share an observation. From the questions, views as well as the answers and explanations that have been provided under the subject of Religious Affairs, we have not seen any effort to encourage voluntarism.
"It appears that all (who do work related to religion) want a financial reward," he added. "For example, work to have mosques cleaned requires contracting. The cleaning of Muslim graves in villages requires waiting on the Ministry of Religious Affairs to carry it out
"Can't such work be done by the youths of each respective village, led by the village head or penghulu?" he asked rhetorically
"This is also with regards to libraries at mosques; there is a suggestion for each mosque to have a librarian. Can't such work be done voluntarily?"
YB Pehin Dato Laila Utama Haji Awg Isa highlighted that before a Ministry of Religious Affairs existed in Brunei, in the 50s after the constitution was penned, all religious work was done voluntarily by elderly people for no payment.
"Nowadays, a lot of religious work must be paid," he asserted. "It appears that voluntarism has been replaced with a mercenary-like attitude, with a focus on money."
"What has happened to our belief as Muslims that all work related to religion is considered ibadah and brings blessings?" he asked.--Courtesy of Borneo Bulletin