Lest We Forget


Compiled by Zainul Akmal Zaini

Senior citizens are assets, not burden

Suriani Garip

OCTOBER 6, 1999 – The Senior Citizen’s Day celebration was held at the International Convention Centre (ICC) in Berakas yesterday.

The guest of honour for the occasion was Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports Pehin Dato Haji Awang Hussain.

The celebration carried the theme “Without You Who Are We”.

Head of Social Affairs Services Unit Hajah Zaliha binti Haji Mohiddin said, “According to statistics in 1996, 4.6 per cent or 14,200 people in Brunei are 60 years old and above. This figure is expected to increase to 17.9 per cent or 88,000 people in 2050. The dependency ratio from this group is also expected to increase from 5.6 per cent in 1995 to 28.5 per cent in 2050.

“The country has a high life expectancy, 73 years for men and 78 years for women. This situation is closely associated with the socio-economic development including the effective health and welfare programmes provided in this country.”

Guest of honour Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports Pehin Dato Haji Awang Hussain (R) looks at items at an exhibition held in conjunction with the celebration. PHOTO: HJ MD SAID

She said, “The International Year of Senior Citizens celebration today is held in respect and appreciation of our senior citizens who had contributed to the country’s development.

“This celebration will increase the public awareness that senior citizens are not a burden, instead they are priceless assets.

“What is being stressed here, we are also the generation who will follow the same path in ageing, to be accepted and be prepared to face the coming days.”

She added, “At the same time, we should also take care of our senior citizens and ensure they live properly physically and mentally.

“The government has introduced a special scheme since January 1955, with the enforcement of ‘The Disabled and Old Age Pension Act’. In this scheme, any person aged 60 and above is eligible to receive BND200 regardless of their status or income.

“In 1999, the government had budgetted BND31 million for pensioners and the disabled. This allowance at least ensures that the older person has income security in order to cope every day.”

Meanwhile, the guest of honour urged the public to assist the government in handling senior citizen affairs.

He said, “This could be done, for example, by providing them with employment opportunities and providing them with various facilities that could be of benefit to them. This is important as the number of senior citizens in this country is increasing from time to time.”

Seminar focusses on forest conservation

Ishan Ibrahim

OCTOBER 12, 1999 – As the new millennium draws near, the issue of forestry has become a major one in the international arena.

This was highlighted by Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Industry and Primary Resources Dato Haji Daniel bin Haji Hanafiah as the guest of honour at the launch of the International Seminar on Tropical Forest Conservation at the D’Anggerek Serviced Apartments yesterday.

The guest of honour said that forestry has played a major role in vital issues including over-exploitation of forests, illegal logging, poaching, illegal trade of forest products, deforestation, desertification, loss of biodiversity, global warming, ozone depletion and acid rain.

In this matter, he said that Brunei Darussalam was also playing a role at international discussions.

Brunei has attended the Rio Summit 1992 and regional and BIMP-EAGA meetings, and is thus recognising the wisdom of a sustainable and environmentally sound development.

Professor Eaton with participants Ayu Sulaiman and Kin Abdullah

The Bulletin talked to participants Ayu Sulaiman and Kin Abdullah, both Universiti Brunei Darussalam (UBD) undergraduates in Public Policy.

They said the seminar was vital for public awareness in the conservation of rainforests.

Their lecturer, Professor Eaton from UBD, said that by organising the seminar, the region has shown it’s on the right track on forest conservation and preservation.

“The Ulu Temburong National Park is an excellent effort by the government in its aims in preserving the natural heritage, but there are also other areas that need to be protected, particularly the coastal and mangrove areas,” he said.

Microsoft Office 2000 makes debut in Brunei

Conny Ho

OCTOBER 18, 1999 – Microsoft (MS) Office 2000 was officially launched in Brunei Darussalam over the weekend at a hotel in the capital.

The guest of honour was the Deputy Surveyor General.

The guest of honour in his opening remarks said he was honoured to be invited to officiate the launching of MS Office 2000 product software.

He also said there were only 77 days left before we embraced the new millennium. Not only should we worry about the Y2K bug, but we should also ask ourselves if we are ready for the year 2000.

Hence, it was important that we keep ourselves aware of new technologies that keep popping up in the fundamental areas in using computers, that we now have to prevent them from becoming obsolete.

Participants from government departments and private companies attend the launch

He also said that, today, all computing is networked and everything is inter-connected in a way that wasn’t five or 10 years ago.

Furthermore, both the hardware and software are changing so fast that we need to address the question of how technology and the related investments can be protected.

He said the arrival of the MS Office 2000 was good news for Brunei Darussalam.

MS Office 2000 provides a number of exciting features that will be of great benefit not only to office workers but also to individuals.

One of the interesting features of the software is that it even learns to work with you as you learn to work with it.

By moving menu commands, you rarely use off-screen and out of view. It also helps you to become more productive by giving you an uncluttered interface.