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 announced a series of efforts to enhance the well-being of the people, in a titah delivered during the Investiture Ceremony at Istana Nurul Iman on the occasion of the monarch’s 75th birthday celebration.
“I have consented for Brunei Darussalam citizens meeting the requirements within the Daily Paid and Open Vote services to be absorbed in phases into the permanent service,” said His Majesty.
“For non-pensionable civil service employees, I have also consented to a study by the Ministry of Finance and Economy (MoFE), in collaboration with the Employees Trust Fund (TAP), for the purpose of providing security to its members upon retirement. The study is already in the final stages, and Insya Allah my government will announce its implementation in the near future.
“For the welfare of citizens and residents in general, I have also consented to the Old Age Pension and People with Different Abilities Allowance Order Act (Amendment) 2021, as well as the People with Different Abilities Order 2021, which will come into force on October 1, 2021.
“With such an amendment, the Old Pension and People with Different Abilities allowance will only be given to citizens and permanent residents who do not hold other citizenships.
“This amendment will also strengthen employment search, as well as introduce a Care Provider Allowance amounting to BND250 per month, for the recipients of People with Different Abilities allowance under the guidelines.
“In addition, people with different abilities will also be entitled to receive a differently abled allowance, in addition to an old age pension when they reach the age of 60 years.
“Amendments to the People with Different Abilities Order 2021 will contain specific laws to protect this group from abuse and neglect.
The Sultan said, “Regarding the government’s efforts to provide employment opportunities to locals, the Manpower Planning and Employment Council (MPEC), through JobCentre Brunei (JCB), has introduced the Study in Professional Institution (SPIN), to equip the workforce with certain skills, in addition to actively conducting roadshow activities to help local job seekers.
“I have often emphasised that jobseekers should avail themselves of the job opportunities provided by the private and public sectors.”
His Majesty also said, “We are all well aware that the world is still confronted with a coronavirus pandemic which is having a negative impact on the world economy, with social issues also on the increase, such as unemployment, political conflicts and so on.
“We must view this situation as a lesson for us to move forward with more vigilance. Despite the global shock, in 2020, Brunei will be one of the three ASEAN economies to grow by 1.2 per cent, while the International Monetary Fund, through the World Economic Outlook publication in April, projected that the country’s economy is expected to grow by 1.6 per cent this year and by more than two per cent in the years to come.
“To stimulate the country’s innovation and socio-economy, I have also consented to the establishment of the Council for Research and Advancement in Technology and Science (CREATES) under the Ministry of Transport and Info-Communication (MTIC), to replace the Brunei Research Council and the National Working Committee on Science and Technology, as a measure to develop research and development in the field of science and technology in the country.
“Towards implementing the use of technology in public services and financial services, I have also consented to a joint venture project between the Prime Minister’s Office and the MoFE.
“On regional and international levels, Brunei Darussalam will continue to enhance close ties with friendly countries to reap mutual benefits, especially in the fields of diplomacy and economy. Stability within the Asean region, the Asia-Pacific and even globally, is very important to be maintained through negotiations, understanding and cooperation based on peace.
“Finally, I would like to express my appreciation and thanks to people from all walks of life, as well as public servants, security personnel and those in the private sector – including those working abroad – for their contributions and support towards my government.
“My gratitude is also extended to the committee members of the celebrations on the national and district levels, for their efforts and services. May Allah the Almighty bless us and our nation.”