This is the speech I gave this morning at the release of our Women’s Issue of Inspire magazine. It is also a speech written for my daughter when she is old enough to understand one day. Hope she will find her purpose in life and make a difference; just like the 50 women (and some) featured in the magazine. But whatever she does, I hope she knows that there is nothing more she can do to earn our adoration, approval and unconditional love for her. Lisa Ibrahim will understand.
Today is a day dedicated to all the Women of Brunei, where we come together to honour the importance of women’s contribution in our society. It is also a special occasion in which we celebrate the achievements of the 50 of the most Influential Women in Brunei.
Not only that, we are here to pay tribute to 6 of the finest and most outstanding young women in our country:
The First Airline Captain in Brunei: Captain Sharifa Czarina
The First Woman Explorer in Brunei ever to visit the Arctic: Dk Najibah Eradah
The first Wu-Shu Gold medalists at the SEA game, actually, we have two of them: Ms Faustina Wu and Ms Li Ying Shi
The first female movie star that made it big on the movie screen: Ms Nina Iskandar and;
The first ever Bruneian woman Olympic Runner: Ms Maziah Mahusin
Why do we publish this special issue on Brunei’s Top 50 Most Influential Women?
I think a better question to ask is why have 50 of you accepted the invitation to be featured in our magazine?
As my team and I did the research on your background, it occurred to me that most of you have accomplished so much and have come so far with your career that you do not require any further validation to know you are good.
I believe the main reason why you have agreed to be on board this issue is because all of you have bought into the common vision of leaving a legacy; a legacy to inspire the next generation of women to step up, to take leadership roles and be a positive force to the society.
I have a three-year-old daughter named Siena. My wife is pregnant with another daughter who is due to be out this July. Both of them are big motivation behind the passion for this project.
Like any parent, I want them to grow up to be useful and to be great. I want them be able to walk into the workforce with the confidence and the audacity to select whatever field they choose to pursue and excel in it; be it a Film Director, a bank CEO, an Olympic runner or even a fashion designer. If she dares to dream big enough – she could even be a Minister one day!
I want my daughters to know that there is a role waiting for them to play in the society, if only they are willing to work hard and follow their passion.
I am convinced that Siena’s journey will be much easier comparing to all of you, because she would be standing on the shoulders of the giants; walking on a path that has been straightened out by each and everyone one of you.
On behalf of Siena and my second daughter, I thank you for your determination, your courage and your legacy!
On this note, I would like to take the opportunity to thank Yang Mulia, Datin Paduka Hajah Adina for gracing our event as the Guest of Honor.
When I met Datin last week to invite her to this event, she accepted the invitation after I explained to her that the representatives of the Top 50 Most Influential Women and The Most Outstanding Young Women would be sharing their stories on this platform. Datin told me that she wanted to ‘come and learn’ from everyone else’s success story.
At the back of my mind, I was thinking that our country is in good hand under the leadership of the people at the top, who has the humility and the willingness to listen and learn.
I take this opportunity to also thank our Sponsor – Aewon, our advertisers and our friends who have supported us in this project. I particularly want to thank all my teammates, especially Nurul and Riley who played an integral role in this project and made it happen through their tireless work ethic.
May you enjoy the rest of the event!