Rental revenues generated from the International Convention Centre (ICC) will dip to BND75,000 in the 2020-2022 session from BND721,341 in the previous session.
This was noted by Legislative Council (LegCo) member Yang Berhormat Siti Rozaimeriyanty binti Dato Seri Laila Jasa Haji Abdul Rahman on the fourth day of the 16th Legislative Council (LegCo) session yesterday.
In response, Minister of Foreign Affairs II Yang Berhormat Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Erywan bin Pehin Datu Pekerma Jaya Haji Mohd Yusof said the revenue drop is due to the ICC halls being restricted to preparation work for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) meeting that will be chaired by the country next year.
“To prepare for such a major meeting, renovation work has to be proper,” said the minister.
On the possible involvement of local architects, building designers and contractors for renovation work at Brunei foreign offices, the minister said the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is working with the Ministry of Development for such tendering.
On organising events, such as the International Women’s Day or World Forestry Day, at Brunei missions abroad, raised by LegCo member Yang Berhormat Khairunnisa binti Haji Ash’ari, the minister said such undertakings depend on the suitability of the country and the issue of budget.
When asked on the benefits of being a member of the Asian Cooperation Dialogue (ACD), raised by LegCo member Yang Berhormat Pengiran Haji Ali bin Pengiran Maon, the minister said ACD was established in the 90s to forge ties with ASEAN, Northeast Asia, South Asia and Middle East, and the Sultanate’s relations with the ACD is still on the preliminary stage.
Pertaining to youth involvement in foreign policy making and programmes, as brought up by LegCo member Yang Berhormat Iswandy bin Ahmad, the minister said he has met with youth participating in the Commonwealth, ASEM and ASEF meetings where their goal is to frame regional cooperation effectively.
“We get their feedback upon their return from these meetings,” he said.
Asked on how the country resolves an issue that could stir up political tension, by LegCo member Yang Berhormat Haji Ramli bin Haji Lahit, the minister said his ministry upholds the policy of non-interference regarding other country’s internal affairs.
“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is the frontliner in providing consultation in a warm and rational manner, to discuss the issue, if any, and to understand why it is a problem,” he said. “There is no standard operating procedure for any issue; but based on close cooperation with my counterpart in the said country.”
In response to LegCo member Yang Berhormat Pengiran Haji Ali on e-registration at the ministry prior to going abroad, the minister said the registration allows Brunei missions to offer assistance immediately in case of emergency.
He also assured that information received via e-registration is kept confidential, adding that “our e-registration will be enhanced and expanded”.