| Rokiah Mahmud |
THE Ministry of Home Affairs (MoHA) has been allocated a budget of B$131.7 million for the 2017-2018 financial year.
In his budget deliberation on the fourth day of the 13th Legislative Council (LegCo) session yesterday, the Minister of Home Affairs, YB Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Kerna Dato Seri Setia (Dr) Haji Awang Abu Bakar bin Haji Apong, elaborated the main challenges that need to be addressed including the country’s slow economic growth.
According to the minister, the main challenges that need to be tackled by the ministry include ensuring effective services to the public according to their current needs and being customer friendly and efficient.
He said that in line with the concept of performance budgeting, the ministry and departments under it has formulated strategies to strengthen the country’s solidarity by acting as a socio-economic catalyst, enhancing security and well-being of citizens.
The budget will also take care of the projects aimed at the well-being of the community in line with the Brunei Vision 2035 under the Institutional Development Strategy which is entrusted with the MoHA under the KPI 2.11 to elevate people’s solidarity.
The minister shared that the budget will also be channelled to empower the penghulu mukim and village head institutions, develop municipalities and create a more conducive business infrastructure.
Moreover, in supporting and achieving the Brunei Vision 2035, the ministry has also implemented various strategies and will continue to carry out initiatives to improve ease of doing business and create a pro-business environment in the country.
Towards this, the minister said his ministry has made several policy changes and is continuously cooperating with various government agencies and other stake holders.
As an example, he cited the ‘One Village, One Product’ (1K1P) initiative as having a massive potential in further boosting the country’s socio-economic development.
Until January 2017, a total of 73 villages in the country have set up own 1K1P projects with 201 products registered under the programme.
The minister assured that the ministry will continue to cooperate with other ministries and stakeholders in getting Halal certification, tourism package recognition, specialist services as well as agriculture and fisheries technology so that the 1K1P projects will be capable of penetrating both local and international markets.
This initiative will not only enhance the community’s innovation and creativity through manufacturing of products but also empower the solidarity and integration within the community through economic activities.
Explaining the works scope and responsibilities of the MoHA, the minister pointed out that ensuring the safety and well-being of the citizens and residents is vital.
During the budget deliberation, he voiced out the ministry’s continuous cooperation with other stakeholders – be it government agencies, private sector or non-governmental organisations – in together monitoring programmes and initiatives that are aimed at safeguarding the peace of the nation.
According to the minister, in the context of raising preparedness at the national level and educating people on the safety and security of the society, the ministry is using the latest technology such as mobile applications Basic Guide and Public Safety
Through these applications users can learn about the procedures in providing emergency assistance, actions that can be taken during emergencies and to protect against terrorist threats, he noted.
In addition, to further ensure the society’s well-being and safety, a Beach Safety Council has been set up to disseminate safety information. The council comprises several ministries and non-governmental organisations (NGO’s) such as the Beach Bunch.
To ensure emergency operation preparedness, the ministry through the Fire and Rescue Department and Ministry of Health has introduced the EMAS services, an integrated ambulance programme for fire stations which has been launched at the Berakas, Rimba, Jerudong, Pengkalan Batu fire stations since November 1, 2016.