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    Minister holds meeting with LegCo members

    James Kon

    Minister of Development Yang Berhormat Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Muhammad Juanda bin Haji Abdul Rashid shared updates on implemented and ongoing projects as well as initiatives carried out in housing, water services, flood mitigation, roads, environment, and good governance during a Muzakarah session between the Ministry of Development (MoD) and Legislative Council (LegCo) members at the Atria Simpur Hall of the Public Works Department (JKR) headquarters in Berakas yesterday.

    The minister shared that based on the Policy Framework and Strategic Plan of the Ministry of Development 2018-2023 review, the overall achievement until 2022 is 70 per cent.

    “Insya Allah, the MoD will strive to increase efforts in improving the ministry in drafting the Strategic Plan of the Ministry of Development 2024-2029.”


    Until 2022, the minister revealed that 30,296 houses had been built under the Landless Indigenous Citizens Housing Scheme (STKRJ) and the Land Scheme in 17 National Housing Scheme (RPN) areas with a total area of ​​794 hectares since the scheme was introduced in 1984.

    The Housing Development Department (JKP) manages and maintains the scheme nationwide.

    Through the 11th National Development Plan (RKN 11), two projects are being carried out, namely RPN Kampong Lugu phase 2, which is 1,000 units of terrace houses currently in construction and is expected to complete in August. 

    The other project is RPN Kampong Tanah Jambu phase 7a, a 950 units of terrace houses, which will begin construction in the middle of the year and is expected to complete by January 2025. 

    Minister of Development Yang Berhormat Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Muhammad Juanda bin Haji Abdul Rashid and Legislative Council member Yang Berhormat Ali bin Tanjong. PHOTO: JAMES KON

    As many as 245 apartment units from 300 of H40 Lambak Kanan apartment have been allocated, with 55 units to be occupied.

    Meanwhile, 140 units of terrace houses in RPN Kampong Rimba and 40 units of terrace houses in RPN Kampong Bukit Beruang are in the process of allocation to qualified applicants.

    Some 16 units of transit houses in RPN Kampong Lambak Kanan have been repaired, four units have already been occupied, and the remaining homes are to be occupied. 

    Some 591 housing units in RPN Kampong Panchor Mengkubau are unoccupied. The houses have cracks in the structural components such as walls, floors, tiles, waterproofing, pipe leakage and electrical wiring problems, and flood problems.

    To date, the department has received over 291 complaints, including seven on flooding, from homeowners in RPN Kampong Panchor Mengkubau. In the efforts to reduce total dependence on the government, the JKP is also exploring alternatives such as analysing alternative financing through public-private partnership or sukuk, a proposal for a developer’s scheme, or the optimisation of abandoned or empty houses such as BSP housing.

    Water services 

    The whole population has access to clean water, including residents in rural areas. Water is supplied from the river through treatment using a slow sand filtration method. The method is suitable due to the limited road access to rural areas such as Kampong Belabau 2, Kampong Mapol, and Kampong Takalit in the Tutong District, and Kampong Melilas in the Belait District.

    In terms of water treatment, the minister revealed that the Sultanate has eight water treatment plants. The total clean water production from these plants is as much as 451 million litres per day. After treatment and purification in the plant, clean water is sent through the main pipes and distribution tanks. Then it goes through distribution pipes to villages and homes.

    For example, the Bukit Barun and Layong water treatment plants in Tutong District supply over 90 per cent of the Brunei-Muara District. The network of pipes in the area is extensive, requiring thorough maintenance.

    The Department of Water Services constantly strives to ensure that the clean water supply network in the country is at optimum level through planned operation and maintenance programmes. It includes upgrading water treatment plants and replacing old pipes with new ones according to the priority and provision under the RKN. 

    He also acknowledged the problems of water supply disruptions, low water pressure issues, and unsatisfactory water quality in some areas, especially in the Brunei-Muara District. This is due to the high amount of damage to water pipes due to landslides and development activities reducing the efficiency of the asset in water treatment plants and water pumping stations.

    Meanwhile, the yellowish water supply is due to difficulties in treating the changing quality of river water caused by weather changes such as prolonged rain, floods, and effluent/discharge from development activities.

    Among the measures the department implemented are: cleaning water storage tanks, flushing works, especially at the end of the network, and maintenance on filtration tanks, clarifiers, chemical dosing, and pumps at water treatment plants functioning well. 

    The agency has also implemented several studies to improve the overall effectiveness of the supply network of clean water and seek improvements in dealing with the problems and challenges faced.

    In October last year, the government introduced the Unified Smart Metering System (USMS), which was awarded to DST Network Sdn Bhd, where the system combines the Department of Water Services, the Department of Electrical Services, and Berakas Power Company Sdn Bhd as a project customer.

    This system solution creates a digital platform and uses a pre-paid module for water and electricity services for the entire country. With a smart metering system, people can manage their electricity bills and water bills through the same module using their respective customer accounts. As of December 22, 2022, 843 smart metres have already been installed.

    Flood mitigation

    To address the issues of flooding in the country, the minister said the upgrading of “drainage and sewerage system, as well as preservation of the coastline and riverbanks, are some of the focusses of the ministry through the Department of Drainage and Sewerage.

    The projects implemented sin-ce the 5th National Development Plan have reduced the risk of flooding from 465 square kilometres (km) in 1984 to 289 square km through the 11th National Development Plan projects. By 2035, the government will continue to focus its efforts on reducing flooding in flood-prone areas to 162 square km through projects under the 12th, 13th, and 14th RKNs.


    Concerning the issues of upgrading and repairing road infrastructures in the country, the minister said priority has been given to “works that are in critical level and provides benefits as a whole”.

    Road maintenance programmes are also carried out through the department’s allocation and RKN 11, including resurfacing, upgrading, and repairing road assets (highways, main roads, village roads, and junction roads) and existing bridges. Among the roads currently being planned for repair are Jalan Tanjong Maya in the Tutong District and Jalan Rasau – Sungai Tujoh in the Belait District.

    Flyovers at major intersections are also in focus. The Kampong Lugu flyover construction has been completed and opened for road users in early 2022. Meanwhile, the construction of the flyover linking Tanah Jambu main road to Mentiri main road is expected to be completed this year.

    The project aims to provide a shortcut for road users heading to Temburong District from Muara-Tutong Highway through Tanah Jambu main road, Mentiri main road, Kota Batu Road, and Sultan Haji Omar ’Ali Saifuddien Bridge. 


    To ensure that the country remains clean, the challenges needed to address are cleanliness and rubbish dumping.

    A steering committee on cleanliness has been established, co-chaired by the MoD, the Ministry of Home Affairs and the Ministry of Health.

    The country’s domestic waste disposal rate is the highest in the region. The ministry is appointing a consultant for the waste incineration plant (waste to energy) project as an alternative to waste management methods through disposal centres (landfill) to achieve sustainable and resilient waste management through the RKN 11.

    Good governance

    In ensuring good governance, the ministry will focus on enforcing existing laws and regulations and procedures in compliance with procurement works and project management.

    This includes improving internal processes to achieve adequate management levels and fast service delivery.

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