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Bring new perspectives, ideas: Sultan

The Legislative Council (LegCo) is a platform for members to provide constructive ideas and engage in discussions in a bid to stay relevant, said 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 at the opening ceremony for the 20th LegCo session yesterday at the LegCo building.

As such, LegCo members must keep a close eye on the development of the Sultanate as well as overseas with the aim of bringing new perspectives and ideas that benefit the nation, said His Majesty.

His Majesty also urged LegCo members to regularly engage in all stakeholders.

The monarch believes that reciprocal discussions will ensure inclusiveness for all parties and raise the community’s confidence while helping in drafting better government policies.

His Majesty also called on relevant government agencies to continue to learn from LegCo members through involvement in committees and taskforces.

“LegCo members must take their own initiatives in helping the government in generating job opportunities, improving the economy and building a human capital,” said His Majesty.

The monarch also noted a report of the ASEAN+3 Macroeconomic Research Office (AMRO) that sees a 2.4-per-cent growth in Brunei’s economy this year.

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, His Royal Highness Prince Haji Al-Muhtadee Billah, the Crown Prince and Senior Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office, His Royal Highness Prince Mohamed Bolkiah, His Royal Highness Prince Haji Sufri Bolkiah and His Royal Highness Prince Haji Jefri Bolkiah in a group photo with Legislative Council (LegCo) members at the opening ceremony for the 20th LegCo session.

PHOTO: RAFI ROSLI & MUIZ MATDANI

His Majesty delivers a titah. PHOTO: RAFI ROSLI & MUIZ MATDANI
ABOVE & BELOW: LegCo members at the ceremony; and LegCo Speaker Yang Berhormat Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Lela Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Abdul Rahman bin Dato Setia Haji Mohamed Taib. PHOTO: RAFI ROSLI & MUIZ MATDANI
PHOTO: RAFI ROSLI & MUIZ MATDANI
ABOVE & BELOW: Photos show the opening ceremony in progress. PHOTO: RAFI ROSLI & MUIZ MATDANI
PHOTO: RAFI ROSLI & MUIZ MATDANI

“It is led by non-oil and gas sectors through economic activities in agriculture, food, finance, transport and tourism as well as downstream oil and gas,” the monarch said.

His Majesty also said that efforts to diversify the economy are underway but are not sufficient to balance the government’s fiscal deficits.

“In reality, we can no longer depend solely on the oil and gas industry because there are factors beyond our control, such as the decline in oil and gas production and the unpredictable oil and gas prices in the global market,” said His Majesty.

“Efforts need to be made to diversify the economy by focusing on industries that have the potential to be successful. At the same time, issues such as environment and climate change must not be neglected.”

His Majesty also said, “Government expenditure is seen to increase year after year.

Alhamdulillah, my government is still able to allocate funds for development. What is important is for government agencies to use the provisions provided more prudently in improving the quality of services as well as people of this country.”

On development, His Majesty said the 12th National Development Plan (RKN 12) plays an important role in helping to achieve the goals of Brunei Vision 2035. “It is hoped that economic Blueprints will encourage the growth of targeted sectors and attract foreign direct investments that have the potential to generate job opportunities,” said His Majesty.  – Lyna Mohamad

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