Minister attends special meeting

Azlan Othman

Minister of Home Affairs Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Kerna Dato Seri Setia (Dr) Haji Awang Abu Bakar bin Haji Apong attended the Special Meeting of Asean Labour Ministers on Response to the Impacts of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) on Labour and Employment via video conferencing yesterday.

The meeting was officiated and chaired by the Malaysian Minister of Human Resources Datuk Seri M Saravanan and was attended by labour ministers of the ASEAN member countries as well as the Director-General of the International Labour Organization (ILO) Guy Ryder and the Secretary General of ASEAN Secretariat Dato Paduka Lim Jock Hoi.

During the meeting, the Minister of Home Affairs shared the various responsive measures implemented by the Government of 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 to address the impacts of the virus.

“The Government of Brunei Darussalam has placed three pillars at the very core of our policy response to COVID-19, which are; the welfare of the public, assistance for employers and support to businesses.”

The minister mentioned that a country-wide lockdown has not been implemented in Brunei Darussalam and the government continues to maintain economic activities and employment creation through courses for re-skilling, the i-Ready apprenticeship programme, initiatives by JobCentre Brunei, and new e-commerce platforms.

Minister of Home Affairs Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Kerna Dato Seri Setia (Dr) Haji Awang Abu Bakar bin Haji Apong during the meeting. PHOTO: MoHA

During the meeting, the ministers adopted a joint statement that recognises the high level exchanges that have taken place between Asean Ministers of Health and Economy acknowledging the declaration of the Special ASEAN Summit on COVID-19 held on April 14 that was endorsed by ASEAN heads of state.

The meeting was preceded by the Preparatory Meeting of Senior Labour Officials for the Special Meeting of ASEAN Labour Ministers on Response to the Impacts of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) on Labour and Employment on May 13.

Permanent Secretary (Safety, Welfare and Law) at the Ministry of Home Affairs Mohd Amir Hairil bin Haji Mahmud led the delegation of Brunei Darussalam in the preparatory meeting, which was held via video conferencing at the Ministry of Home Affairs building. The meeting was chaired by the current ASEAN Senior Labour Officials Chair Secretary General Dato’ Amir bin Omar from the Malaysia Ministry of Human Resources.

The Brunei delegation included Acting Commissioner of Labour Muhd Saufi bin Haji Ibrahim, Assistant Commissioner of Labour Rozan Justin Teo bin Haji Azlan and senior officials from the Ministry of Home Affairs and Labour Department.