| James Kon |
AS THE Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports is making sure that the distribution of assistance and social security services are done based on requirements that follow established guidelines, it is also ensuring that the target groups receive appropriate assistance according to each of their respective needs.
In line with this, the Department of Community Development is currently in the process of carrying out profiling analysis on each and every recipient of the monthly welfare assistance.
Pehin Orang Kaya Pekerma Laila Diraja Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Hazair bin Haji Abdullah, Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports, said this in his welcoming remark at the dialogue session with members of the Legislative Council yesterday at the conference room of Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium.
“The process is aimed at identifying a more detailed demographic of the recipients of assistance so that a suitable assistance programme could be found to address their needs according to their respective situations.
“According to the monthly welfare assistance assessment committee, most of the applicants for the monthly welfare assistance are heads of families who have low income or could not afford to support their families. The burden of debt that leaves them unable to make their repayments has also contributed to the financial woes faced by these families. Therefore with the profiling analysis, the Department of Community Development will be able to provide a specific programme to help recipients of welfare assistance to get out of poverty,” he added.
Towards long-term sustainability in providing welfare assistance, the minister said, “Efforts are on to empower monthly welfare assistance recipients who are categorised as physically and mentally capable to undergo skill training programmes and self-development in order to attain employment or venture into businesses.
“The programme,” he said, “will be implemented together with the Department of Community Development and Youth Development Centre. It will be further expanded to include an element of work incentive relating to increase in skills. This effort will not only stop them from their dependence of continuous assistance but also help towards maintaining sustainability in the government social security programme.”
The minister said in 2014, a total of 5,144 orphans received assistance, 158 received counselling services, 6,105 received monthly welfare assistance, 36 received other assistance. Fourteen blind and deaf also received assistance. Meanwhile, 83 complaints on abuse and domestic violence were also handled.
The minister announced that Brunei Darussalam is placed ninth in the world for least misery. The ranking came from findings on happiest countries in the world and countries facing least misery conducted by Adrian G Shite, a psychologist at University of Leicester.
YB Awang Haji Ahmad Morshidi bin Pehin Orang Kaya Digadong Seri Diraja Dato Laila Utama Haji Awang Abdul Rahman, representing members of the Legislative Council, in his speech said, “During last year’s Legislative Council session, Yang Berhormat Pehin had voiced his readiness to hold a meeting or dialogue on matters that need further in-depth explanations. I welcome the invite and appreciate what the Pehin has stated in the session.” The meeting, he said, was not only to voice out issues relating to the ministry but was a platform to assist the ministry enhance its efforts towards implementing policies in accordance with his observations as a Legislative Council member.
Also present at the dialogue session were Datin Paduka Hajah Adina binti Othman, Deputy Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports, Permanent Secretaries as well as officials of the ministry.