The 16th Legislative Council (LegCo) meeting concluded yesterday in view of the COVID-19 outbreak.
Appointed LegCo member Yang Berhormat Pehin Orang Kaya Pendikar Alam Dato Paduka Seri Haji Hasrin bin Dato Paduka Haji Sabtu in his closing remarks called on LegCo members to continue deliberating important issues through correspondence or via platform appropriate in delivering the voice of the people.
The meeting deliberated several main issues that could affect national economic growth, particularly the drop in oil prices that could trigger the country’s budget deficit, although the country has recorded surplus in 2019-2020.
Yang Berhormat Pehin Orang Kaya Pendikar Alam Dato Paduka Seri Haji Hasrin also extended appreciation to relevant parties, particularly frontliners, who have worked hard in minimising the spread of COVID-19 outbreak. They included personnel from the Ministry of Health, Royal Brunei Police Force, Royal Brunei Armed Forces, mass media and others.
He also called on the public to follow instructions issued by the authorities, to not panic and to not believe baseless viral messages, adding that it is best to unite as a nation and trust our leader, to look after each other, and continue our daily activities in this challenging time.
LegCo Speaker Yang Berhormat Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Lela Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Abdul Rahman bin Dato Setia Haji Mohamed Taib noted that the nation should be grateful that 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 Government is still able to provide reasonable expenditure for Financial Year 2020/2021 for the provision of development projects and initiatives, taking into account the challenging conditions faced by the nation.
He called on the relevant parties to use the budget prudently and to plan and manage expenditure carefully. He also called for the relevant parties to continue working together and to double the efforts to diversify the economy to increase the nation’s productivity and strengthen Brunei Darussalam’s financial standing.
He called on LegCo members to continue their visits outside the LegCo Building, adding that the calls made does not necessarily only have to be on a ministerial level, and that the relevant officers can bring positive and significant changes to the nation’s administration.
With the nation facing the COVID-19 outbreak, he stressed the need to accept the fact that “this is not a drill, this is for real,” citing the World Health Organization (WHO) chairman. He said the virus needs to be tackled and we need to observe the specific regulations outlined by the relevant authority.
He noted that the meeting has been carried out well and organised despite the situation.