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 said all National Development Plan (RKN) meetings should be based on thorough research supported by facts with open discussions, focussing on issues relevant to socio-economic growth, in addition to the development of the oil and gas sector.
In delivering a titah at the first National Development Plan Executive Committee Meeting yesterday at Istana Nurul Iman, His Majesty said, “I see that any planning under the upcoming National Development Plan project, especially the 12th National Development Plan will not only focus on the provision or construction of infrastructure, but it is also necessary to focus on projects that can contribute to efficiency and productivity.”
His Royal Highness Prince Haji Al-Muhtadee Billah, the Crown Prince and Senior Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office was also in attendance.
The monarch who chaired the meeting added that in implementing any plan, several factors need to be taken into account such as the resilience of the project, its contribution to industrial and economic development as well as its ability to stimulate the fiscal resilience of the nation.
In addition, matters that need to be included in the planning are to provide employment opportunities to the locals by emphasising on in-country value as well as improving skills.
“As an independent and progressive nation, we do not have to rely too much on foreign labour. This method is not a solution in achieving the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG), but locals need to be given exposure to all environments including construction and so on,” the monarch said.
His Majesty also expressed appreciation to His Royal Highness Prince Haji Al-Muhtadee Billah for His Royal Highness’ leadership, service, energy and ideas that have contributed during His Royal Highness’ tenure as Chairperson of the National Development Plan Executive Committee.
“I would like to congratulate all the members for their re-appointment and new appointment in the National Development Plan Executive Committee. Similarly, I would like to express appreciation and gratitude to the former Members of the National Development Plan Executive Committee for their contributions.
“The change in the position of Chairman and members of the National Development Plan Executive Committee is a strategic platform for a common good. It is hoped that it will continue to bear the responsibility of triggering big thoughts or ideas for the benefit of national development,” the monarch said.
His Majesty also stressed on share facilities method which should not be neglected. “Every ministry needs to ensure that available facilities are shared. It is important to remember that development does not mean the number of buildings owned by each ministry, but more importantly the integration to achieve the objectives of the Whole-of-Government Approach.
Planning should also be for the long term to avoid wastage and duplication in the use of government resources,” the monarch added.
His Majesty also said, in the meantime, it is also reminded that the design and tender for the 11th National Development Plan projects that are still in the planning process must be re-examined to ensure that they are still relevant to be implemented.
“Furthermore, in line with the current trend, I also see that government agencies need to strengthen the potential of the digital economy through the implementation of the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) and the Whole-of-Nation approach that has already begun to be applied in this nation with the development of several applications such as BruHealth, MoHcares, Pengguna Bijak (Smart Users), Transport BN and so on.
“This is important for us to be able to deal with the challenges ahead, including an effort to maintain peace, prosperity and harmony,” His Majesty added.
“Undoubtedly through the National Development Plan, some achievements have been enjoyed, but I see it is time for us to move forward more to make reforms as a continuation between the planning process and project selection.
“We also consider this as strategic planning aligned as a guiding principle to facilitate each agency to plan and prepare projects in a more orderly manner.
“In this way, it will further strengthen cooperation between stakeholders in both the government sector and the private sector including government-linked companies (GLCs), public private partnerships (PPPs) and also foreign direct investments.”
The monarch also noted that the Economic Blueprint for the Third Goal in Brunei Vision 2035 has been prepared.
“In this regard, I hope to see the existence of Manpower Blueprint for the First Goal in our Vision which will be led by the Ministry of Education (MoE) and Manpower Planning and Employment Council, and Social Blueprint for the Second Goal, will be led by the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) and the National Council on Social Issues (MKIS),” the monarch said.
His Majesty hoped that the National Development Plan Executive Committee Meeting will be able to focus more on strategic matters for development. Appointed members are hoped to be more open in giving their views without hesitation. This is the main role of each member to ensure the success of the National Development Plan.