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    ‘Smart MoD’ strategic plan underway, says minister

    Syazwani Hj Rosli

    The Ministry of Development (MoD) is always ready to execute its responsibilities and obligations (amanah) in ensuring the well-being of Bruneians through comprehensive facilities and projects, in accordance with its action plan, said Minister of Development Dato Seri Setia Ir Awang Haji Suhaimi bin Haji Gafar.

    The minister was delivering a speech yesterday, during a dialogue session held at the Public Works Department (JKR) headquarters between the MoD and members of the Legislative Council (LegCo), where he highlighted several plans and initiatives to ensure the well-being of Brunei citizens, with particular focus on socio-economic and infrastructure development, environmental issues, and the Industrial Revolution 4.0.

    On socio-economic development, Dato Seri Setia Awang Ir Haji Suhaimi said that the bridge connecting the Brunei-Muara and Temburong districts would open up opportunities for local entrepreneurs and traders, especially those based in Temburong.

    “Initiatives under the Temburong District development plan for tourism and entrepreneurship are currently being implemented through the Temburong District Development Authority Committee, in creating an eco-smart district,” he said.

    In terms of infrastructure, the minister stressed on the durability and development of infrastructure facilities to support efficient public services, particularly in water source security, water supply services and housing.

    He also mentioned proposals for the installation of a smart prepaid meter, saying, “It is still under review for implementation by phases, starting at the end of this year. The initiative is aimed towards promoting the prudent usage of water and also to address the issue of overdue water bills that are currently faced by our ministry.”

    Minister of Development Dato Seri Setia Ir Awang Haji Suhaimi bin Haji Gafar. PHOTO: BAHYIAH BAKIR

    On environmental issues, he said, “The efforts in the protection and preservation of the environment need to be in line with the development of Industrial Revolution 4.0, whereby the country needs to raise its competence in managing the environment systematically.”

    The minister also emphasised the circular economy concept, “which needs to be given attention, so that our country will not be left behind in terms of technology that can tackle environmental issues”.

    On the subject of Industrial Revolution 4.0, the minister said, “The Ministry of Development is responsible for supporting the Digital Economy Committee, co-chaired by the Minister of Transport and Infocommunications and the Minister of Energy, Manpower and Industry, in supporting our country’s aspirations towards becoming a Smart Nation.

    “Our ministry is currently in the process of developing a strategic plan in becoming a ‘Smart MoD’, by identifying existing services that can be integrated and later digitalised, to facilitate the application processes.”

    Earlier, the minister disclosed the six key strategies that form part of the MoD and its departments’ action plan towards its Policy Framework and Strategic Plan of 2018-2023, which include strengthening policies and governance; conducting integrated planning and improve coordination between departments; using information technologies in coordinating operation and processes structure; optimising resources and assets; expanding networks with relevant agencies; further exploring the PPP approach to achieve effectiveness and cost effectiveness in project management and implementation; and supporting local business development as the backbone of the construction industry.

    The LegCo delegation was led by Yang Berhormat Siti Rozaimeriyanty binti Dato Seri Laila Jasa Haji Abdul Rahman.

    Also present during the dialogue session were Deputy Minister of Development Dato Seri Paduka Awang Haji Marzuke bin Haji Mohsin, as well as the permanent secretary, acting permanent secretary, deputy permanent secretaries at the MoD, the Acting Director-General of Public Works and senior officers from various ministries.

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