Dr Peter Abas on Growing-Up




One hot issue that seems to be lingering around for sometime and happens to be of a great concern for politicians, lawmakers, academicians, parents, educationalist and community leaders is the decline of civic consciousness among youth. Apart from the decline in civic consciousness, the youth are also exposed to different social problems which includes substance abuse, discipline problems, gangsterism, vandalism, alcoholism and young relationships among youths. It has been recommended that the community and policy makers need to view social problems holistically.

Dominic had the unique opportunity to talk to Dr. Peter Abas who as they say, went through the grind while growing up and has gained the right to share his experiences and wisdom with the listeners. He suggests that,”a lot of things can be achieved through sports and games.” Dr. Peter did just that when he was a young lad, with lots of encouragement and support from his father. His fathers positive influence over him did make a big difference in developing his personality and character.

As a social worker, counsellor and community leader Dr. Peter has this question to ask all parents, “How much quality time are you actually investing with your kids?” Dr. Peter further elaborates that it is extremely critical during these challenging and complex times for parents to give their undivided attention to their kids, particularly during their growing-up years. “My fathers attention and inspiration has made a tremendous difference to my life.” I sincerely hope that this interview will inspire parents and the young ones, that it is possible for your kids to achieve success no matter what the circumstances are, through effective mentoring of parents and the willingness of the respective parent to take charge. As parents, we are ultimately responsible for the way our children turn out.

Dr. Peter Abas was born on 18 May 1960, Penampang, Sabah or popularly known as North Borneo. Dr. Peter completed his pre-university at St. Francis Xaviers Seminary in Singapore and spent another six years at St. Peters College, Kuching, Sarawak majoring in Theology & Philosophy. After which Peter went to St. Josephs, Kiulu, Sabah serving the poor community before being sent to San Anselmo Pontifical University, Rome, Italy to obtain the ‘ Licentiate In Sacred Liturgy.’ While in Italy he mastered the Italian language.

When Dr. Peter returned to this region he spent 1 year at SAIDI (Philipines) focusing on human formation and later went back to teach at St. Peters College, Kuching, Sarawak for 3 years. Obtained a scholarship to pursue a Masters In Counselling at Fordham University, New York, specialising in ‘Substance Abuse By the Young.’ Also completed a Post-Masters in Counselling & Human Services. Obtained a second scholarship to complete a Doctorate In Education at University Rochester, New York, specialising in Counselling & Human Development(Gerontology Counselling) and wrote a book on ‘Loneliness’ focusing on the elderly above 65 years of age.

In New York, Dr. Peter Abas founded the St. Raymonds Youth Group or better known as ‘Heart-Beats.’ Dr. Peter also had exposure with youth centres in Australia and Germany. While in Germany he mastered the German language. Dr. Peter Abas was invited to present a paper in France at the 19th World Congress for the International Association Of Gerontology And Geriatrics. Dr. Peter completed a research on ‘End Of Life’ related to Hospice and Palliative Care. Implemented innovative methods in counselling for the elderly such as ‘Rhythmic Tranquility.’ Dr. Peter was very active at the St. Josephs Neighbourhood Counselling Center, New York, Pastoral Counselling & Family Therapy, New York and University Counselling Center , New York.