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 expressed concern that many government-owned buildings are abandoned and no longer in use.
In a New Year 2022 titah last night, His Majesty asked why this has happened.
“This should be tackled in a holistic manner by stakeholders for the assets to be utilised and to avoid wastage. In addition, all ministries are encouraged to implement a shared facilities method for expenses to be focussed towards attaining Brunei Vision 2035.”
The monarch also said under the 11th National Development Plan, the development agenda is going well.
Under the programme, many projects have been and are being implemented.
His Majesty also said there is nothing more meaningful than being grateful to Allah the Almighty in that we are able to usher in the new year.
“It is a priceless blessing, just like the blessings showered upon us such as good health, longevity and peace from Allah the Almighty.”
On the COVID-19 Pandemic His Majesty said the world is struck by the emergence of a new variant Omicron which according to the latest update, has spread all over the world, adding to global concern.
The monarch said as a faithful Ummah, we ought to see it as provisions from Allah the Almighty.
“In an effort to tackle the pandemic, Brunei has implemented a national vaccination programme, which has been running successfully, to the point where we are able to enter the Endemic Phase. In the Endemic Phase, activities previously restricted can now be carried out. However, we still need to adhere to the standard operating procedures (SOPs).”
His Majesty also reminded the people not to be complacent, especially when the nation is loosening restrictions, as minor mistakes invite repercussions.
“Although we are also grappling with the pandemic of 2021, the nation is also blessed to be able to chair ASEAN successfully.
The ASEAN workforce is delighted to be able to step up efforts to develop the ASEAN community. ASEAN also strives for youth to inherit this region with sustainable development and in this context, the seting up of the ASEAN Junior Fellowship programme.”
Speaking on the nation’s achievement, His Majesty said the nation ranked 21st out of 214 nations in the Government Effectiveness Index based on Worldwide Governance Indicators 2021 by the World Bank.
“Such an achievement requires tremendous work from all parties involved,” His Majesty said, adding that “In an effort to provide job opportunities to locals, the provision of human resource that is marketable and employable is paramount.”
“Thus, a lifelong learning programme is relevant. The Ministry of Education and other relevant ministries have outlined a comprehensive plan for education to run smoothly in the Endemic Phase.”
On welfare, the monarch said, “We are implementing the National Welfare System (SKN) through which the application for assistance can be sped up and specified to those in need.”
His Majesty extended appreciation to all levels of the public service, the Royal Brunei Armed Forces, Royal Brunei Police Force, uniformed personnel including those in the private sector as well as volunteers and frontliners for their commitment and efforts to their tasks throughout 2021.
The monarch also expressed gratitude to all levels of the community for their cooperation in supporting the government in containing the pandemic and in supporting the national agenda.
The ruler also conveyed appreciation to friendly nations and international organisations for their cooperation and assistance, especially when the nation was grappling with the second wave of the COVID-19 outbreak.
“I wish the citizens and residents a Happy New Year 2022 including those residing abroad and pray that Allah the Almighty will bless us with strong faith, good health, peace and prosperity for all,” His Majesty said.