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25.03.24 All eyes on better future

In the fabric of a nation’s governance, few threads are as vital as those woven by its Legislative Council (LegCo). Serving as the cornerstone of decision-making, the functions of this council extend far beyond the halls of power, impacting every aspect of society’s progress and development.

From enacting laws that shape the legal landscape to scrutinising policies for their societal impact, the LegCo stands as a beacon of representation, ensuring that the voices of the people resonate in the corridors of power.

As the curtains fell on the 20th session of the LegCo meeting on March 24, the echoes of adjournment speeches from its members reverberated through the chambers.

Over the span of 18 days, over 700 questions were posed, reflecting the rigorous deliberations and scrutiny that characterise the proceedings of this esteemed council.

“Continuous guidance and direction are crucial to cultivating youth who are more responsible and committed to contributing to all forms of national progress and development,” said LegCo member Yang Berhormat Abdul Aziz bin Haji Hamdan.

He stressed the importance of aligning youth programmes with their needs and capacities, advocating for initiatives in technology, social engagement and community development.

He also emphasised the necessity for ongoing and future projects to prioritise the preferences of the youth. 

He highlighted the significance of integrating youth programmes with village consultative councils, aiming to enhance their effectiveness and efficiency through grassroots leadership. This, he believes, will greatly benefit the well-being and socio-economic advancement of rural areas, fostering balanced progress.

Regarding His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Haji Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien Sa’adul Khairi Waddien, Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam’s aim to diversify the nation’s economic resources, Yang Berhormat Abdul Aziz underlined the importance of systematic and patient efforts in this direction.

He underscored the need for every initiative to be mindful of capacity and capability, advocating for a grassroots approach that gradually yields desired success. Acknowledging that there are no easy shortcuts, he highlighted the necessity of embracing this reality.

“Success depends on our commitment to change, being more open to making changes and transformations without side-lining the values of Bruneians based on Malay Islamic Monarchy principle.”

He added, “Existing policies and regulations need to be reviewed and implemented in line with the rapidly changing times.”

LegCo member Yang Berhormat Hajah Safiah binti Sheikh Haji Abdul Salam said that the prosperity and progress of a country are closely related to economic stability and social factors such as crime rates, poverty, and unemployment.

“Social issues can be better controlled by strengthening sustainable economic growth across the various sectors,” she added.

She also believes that when making any alterations, it’s crucial for the rationale and anticipated advantages of these adjustments to be transparent to all stakeholders, particularly the broader community.

She said there should be a focus on efficiency and effectiveness of implementation, monitoring and evaluation to ensure the successful execution of the initiatives.

Yang Berhormat Hajah Safiah also called for stakeholders to change their mindset towards existing work cultures, re-evaluating ineffective strategies and embracing efficiency for better outcomes, adding that the civil service needs to prioritise productivity and transparency, addressing shortcomings in areas such as welfare assistance processing and financial claim resolution.

Engaging with diverse groups for fresh ideas, including youth and skilled officials, is essential for progress, she added.

She also said that protection of women and children is paramount, especially in today’s technological age, and policies safeguarding their rights must be reinforced and promptly enforced.

Also highlighted by the LegCo member were prioritising inclusive building designs accommodating people with disabilities and the elderly; the crucial role local entrepreneurs play, thus should receive robust support from the government; and transparency in leadership with the authorities openly sharing planned policies, addressing challenges and engaging with public feedback, even on social media.

“With deep understanding, the people will give their trust, and find it easier to support and accept any changes with an open heart, ready to move towards a brighter life,” said Yang Berhormat Hajah Safiah.

Meanwhile, Yang Berhormat Haji Mohamad Danial @ Tekpin bin Ya’akub highlighted sustainable economy in his adjournment speech.

“It cannot be denied that the government has already spent heavily on providing business infrastructure. “However, efforts and initiatives to preserve a more competitive business climate are not merely about construction but go beyond that,” he said.

LegCo member Yang Berhormat Hajah Rosmawatty binti Haji Abdul Mumin, on the other hand, said there are various key sectors that have been identified with a primary focus on maintaining the prosperity of the country, such as ensuring water and energy security, including upstream and downstream oil and gas, self-sufficiency in food supply, and growth of the tourism sector for national development.

“I believe it is time for us to make significant leaps because the small steps taken so far have not yielded desired impact,” she said.

One crucial aspect of the transformation, she said, is harnessing the potential of the younger generation as agents of change, aligning with His Majesty’s 77th Birthday celebration titah that emphasised the need for the Sultanate to move faster by encouraging more high-quality foreign direct investments (FDIs) to diversify the economy and simultaneously provide job opportunities and spin-offs for local small and medium enterprises (SMEs).

Yang Berhormat Hajah Rosmawatty also placed emphasis on the core education transformation to improve students’ performances towards achieving the first goal of Vision 2035; encouraging efforts to attract more tourists to Brunei through various international events; and the importance in recognising the need to reduce social stigma against individuals with mental health issues.

In discussing new investment opportunities, the LegCo member called for prompt action, suggesting a special taskforce in key economic sectors. Active participation in the global arena, especially regarding climate change through the ACCC, she believes, will align BNCCP with national economic goals.

The LegCo member also underlined the need for cultural transformation in government, by promoting open dialogue and accountability. Effective leadership, she said, is crucial at all levels, advocating for a results-oriented approach that fosters leaders dedicated to achieving excellence.

“Let us remove any constraints and embrace the spirit and determination in pursuing our country’s aspirations. Our small country, from various aspects, needs to be expanded,” said Yang Berhormat Hajah Rosmawatty. ​

(News & pic source: Borneo Bulletin)

25.03.24 All eyes on better future