A spur of economic activities is expected with the completion of the 30km bridge linking Bandar Seri Begawan and the Temburong District.
Several Legislative Council (LegCo) members suggested development plans to ensure that Temburong District can reap the benefits of the new bridge, in line with the Brunei Vision 2035, during the afternoon session of the 16th LegCo session.
LegCo member Yang Berhormat Haji Mohimin bin Haji Johari @ Jahari sought to establish a feasibility study on using solar energy.
“If we can obtain positive feedback from a study in solar energy, I suggest conducting a solar energy project in the Temburong District,” Yang Berhormat Haji Mohimin said.
He added that the projects can be offered to local companies or foreign direct investors to ensure renewable energy.
“The reasons for going the way of renewables are well known; it is environmentally friendly and it is fast becoming more cost-effective than traditional energy resources, this will reduce government spending,” he added.
Meanwhile, LegCo member Yang Berhormat Pehin Orang Kaya Putera Maharaja Dato Paduka Haji Abdul Ghani bin Pehin Datu Pekerma Dewa Dato Paduka Haji Abdul Rahim proposed to establish a special government fund that will provide financial assistance to local Temburong residents who are keen to start a business on their property.
“With the on-going (infrastructure) developments, some of the Malay property owners from the district are interested to grab this opportunity to earn a better living and contribute to the national economy.
“However, the main concern is that these owners do not have the capital to develop their land. I request the government to establish a special fund that will financially assist the locals to develop their land,” Yang Berhormat Pehin Orang Kaya Putera Maharaja Dato Paduka Haji Abdul Ghani said.
Yang Berhormat Pehin Orang Kaya Putera Maharaja Dato Paduka Haji Abdul Ghani witnessed first-hand some of the on-going projects in agriculture, fisheries, forestry and tourism during a visit.
“Although some of the areas are far from the public eye, I saw positive growth of several projects. This shows that the government is serious in providing assistance to speed up the district’s development.”
In response, Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office and Minister of Finance and Economy II Yang Berhormat Dato Seri Setia Dr Awang Haji Mohd Amin Liew bin Abdullah said funds from the government are to provide financial assistance to all citizens of Brunei.
“There are no special funds or schemes for specific individuals just for their personal gain. I suggest business owners from the Temburong District to come forward with an appropriate business plan and register with DARe (Darussalam Enterprise),” he said.
The minister added that DARe, as the national business support centre, can provide information and reforms related to starting a business.
He also suggested business owners to approach financial institutions such as Bank Usahawan to finance their businesses.