Govt premises to become plastic bottle free zone

James Kon

Under the Green Protocol guidelines, all government premises will be free of plastic bottles while the areas will become a “plastic bottle free zone”.

Meanwhile, the Housing Development Department is continuing to implement Phase 2 of the national housing plan project of Kampong Lugu, Kampong Tanah Jambu and Kampong Bukit Beruang while upgrading projects for Terrace House H33, H35 and H36 in Kampong Rimba and Kampong Lambak Kanan.

These are some of the ongoing initiatives under the Ministry of Development and its departments revealed by Minister of Development Dato Seri Setia Ir Awang Haji Suhaimi bin Haji Gafar in his speech at the Muzakarah (dialogue) session between the Ministry of Development and Legislative Council members at the project site office of the Sultan Haji Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien Bridge yesterday.

The minister first cited the projects under the 11th National Development Plan where, he highlighted that there are 68 projects under the 11th National Development Plan for infrastructures works, road facilities, water supply system and flood mitigation.

From the total 68 projects, he said, six projects have been implemented while 35 projects are in the midst of implementation.

“The remaining projects are in the process of design and tendering,” Dato Seri Setia Ir Awang Haji Suhaimi.

The minister said all projects cost more than BND300 million and it is hoped that it will not only provide basic facilities to the public, but also upgrade the quality of life of the people.

Speaking on the national housing scheme, he said through detail planning, the Housing Development Department is implementing the National Housing Plan Project of Phase 2 of Kampong Lugu, Kampong Tanah Jambu, Kampong Bukit Beruang, upgrading project for Terrace House H33, H35 and H36 in Kampong Rimba and Kampong Lambak Kanan.

Minister of Development Dato Seri Setia Ir Awang Haji Suhaimi bin Haji Gafar and Legislative Council members during the dialogue session. PHOTO: JAMES KON

On the alternative in providing housing under the national housing plan, he said the ministry has been studying the effectiveness of the public private partnership (PPP) approach with cooperation from the Ministry of Finance and Economy (P Cube Sdn Bhd) since 2019.

“Several sites have been identified to become PPP housing projects like the Lambak Kanan housing areas of 50 hectares where more than 1,000 terrace and semi-detached houses can be built. To date, the project is still in the assessment stage by P Cube.”

Regarding the housing H40 apartment at Jalan 99 in Kampong Rimba which comprises 300 units, Dato Seri Setia Ir Awang Haji Suhaimi said the H40 apartments are currently being offered to successful applicants of the National Housing Scheme and are awaiting a house.

Several sessions of viewing were held since July and December last year. Despite the response being low at the beginning, the Housing Development Department has now received a positive response, the minister said.

Assessment is being carried out by the Housing Development Department and the apartment is expected to be occupied before Hari Raya.

Dato Seri Setia Ir Awang Haji Suhaimi said to support the government’s aspirations towards a Digital Economy and Smart Nation, the Ministry of Development has published a MoD Digital Paradigm Framework 2018-2023 as the ministry’s effort to support the Digital Economy Agenda, especially the use of technology in providing services and infrastructure projects.

He said with its implementation, it will be possible to improve existing services and provide infrastructure more effectively and efficiently through the use of technology.

It is also expected to meet the level of standards and expectations of the public for better services to improve the quality of life of the people, Dato Seri Setia Ir Awang Haji Suhaimi said.

Speaking on climate change, the minister said it is one of the greatest global threats whereby the Earth’s surface temperature is rising while the increase of sea levels is a worrying sign which needs to be acted upon immediately.

He said; “Alhamdulillah, our country has the Brunei Darussalam National Climate Change Policy (BNCCP) that has become the official policy in administration and shaping the direction towards a low carbon nation and resilience to impact climate change.”

The Brunei Darussalam National Council on Climate Change (BNCCC) declared that 2021 is Year of Climate Action as an effort to raise awareness and enhance the importance of BNCCP and its effective implementation involving all stakeholders including the public, youth, NGOs and others to play a role to support the Green Protocol through several initiatives that have been identified. Toward this, the BNCCC also launched the Green Protocol Guideline book on January 31, 2021 to reduce the carbon print at all government premises, the minister said.

He also said it should be ensured that all government premises in the country will not use plastic bottles and become “plastic bottle free zone” areas.

It has also been urged to plant trees at government premises or places that have been identified by the secretariat in support of the 26,000 trees per year campaign that is in the green protocol guideline, Dato Seri Setia Ir Awang Haji Suhaimi said.

On term of Acts and Regulations, the minister said several new Acts and Regulations are currently being drafted or has been updated with the hope to provide a positive impact and maintain public interests like the Building Control Regulation 2020 (Composition of Offences) under the Building Control Order, 2014 whereby enforcement started since June 1, 2020.

This compound authorises Authority for Building Control and Construction Industry (ABCi) to impose a compound for offences under Building Control Regulations 2016 (Advertisement, Billboard and Signboard). Any individual or company promoting advertisements must obtain permission from ABCi before installing the structure and displaying advertisements, billboards or billboards in the country, he said.

On the implementation of Caveat Registration, he said, ” The implementation to the part of the Land Code (Amendment) Order, 2016 in particular Section 5 is enforced from January 1, 2021. The implementation of Caveat Registration is hoped to protect parties on a land by registering that interest to the land register. With the Caveat, the land owner cannot transfer ownership, sell, lease or mortgage transactions the land that will affect the interests of the parties who have registered the caveat.”

The enforcement of part of the Land Code (Amendment) Order, 2016 will further raise the system of administration and development in the country, he said.

Leading the 16 Legislative Council members at the Muzakarah was Yang Berhormat Fdr Ar Siti Rozaimeriyanty binti Dato Seri Laila Jasa Haji Abdul Rahman.

The Muzakarah session is a platform to discuss openly and exchange views to further increase the quality of services and programmes implemented by the Ministry of Development and departments under it for the well-being of the people in the country.

Deputy Minister of Development Dato Seri Paduka Ar Awang Haji Marzuke bin Haji Mohsin, Permanent Secretary (Planning, Land use and Environment) at the MoD Dr Nor Imtihan binti Haji Abdul Razak, Permanent Secretary (Infrastructure, Housing and Professional) at the MoD Ir Haji Amer Hishamuddin bin Pehin Orang Kaya Amar Pahlawan Dato Seri Setia Haji Zakaria and senior officials from the ministry were present.