The first legislation to be approved by the new Legislative Council has been gazetted and bootleg pdf copies are available at www.bruneiresources.com. For the official and clearer copy, please pay $5 to the Brunei Government Printing Department or to the Attorney General's Office. The legislation is called the "Supply (2006/2007) Act" - the one that allows the Brunei government to spend for the 12 months from April 2006. It's a worthwhile read to know how much each ministry and department gets. It might give you a surprise too. It's published as Government Gazette Part I No.1 as the first law that actually went through the legislative council process. Most other legislations are approved through the power of the Constitution and are gazetted in Government Gazettes Part II.
For readers who did not know the existence of the government gazettes before, it's something you need to know but you don't really need to buy. You can always get hold of it in the library. Though the entire set of the Brunei Government Gazettes are fairly useful but of course it does take a bit of time to enjoy it. Somebody likens it to watching paint dry or going to the dentist. But it's not really as bad as that. The gazettes are part of the Brunei legal process. It gazettes or announces the laws and regulations that have been approved. Appointments that have been made. People who have been sued especially for bankruptcy. Lands that have been acquired, military live firing exercises and other sorts of legal mumbo jumbo. So if you are in the legal or financial services profession, the gazette is the first thing you turn to.
The gazettes obviously are important to the government and governments like it or not at the end of the day can make or break anything. Let me share this updated tale should Noah be asked to build his ark today:-
And the Lord spoke to Noah and said: "In six months I'm going to make it rain until the whole earth is covered with water and all the evil people are destroyed. But I want to save a few good people, and two of every kind of living thing on the planet. I am ordering you to build Me an Ark," said the Lord.
And in a flash of lightning He delivered the specifications for an Ark.
"OK," said Noah, trembling in fear and fumbling with the blueprints.
"Six months, and it starts to rain" thundered the Lord. "You'd better have my Ark completed, or learn how to swim for a very long time."
And six months passed.
The skies began to cloud up and rain began to fall. The Lord saw that Noah was sitting in his front yard, weeping. And there was no Ark.
"Noah," shouted the Lord, "where is my Ark?" A lightning bolt crashed into the ground next to Noah, for emphasis.
"Lord, please forgive me," begged Noah. "I did my best. But there were big problems. First I had to get a building permit for the Ark construction project, and your plans didn't meet Code. So I had to hire an engineer to redraw the plans. "
"Then I got into a big fight over whether or not the Ark needed a fire sprinkler system. "
"My neighbors objected claiming I was violating zoning by building the Ark in my front yard, so I had to get a variance from the city planning commission."
"Then I had a big problem getting enough wood for the Ark because there was a ban on cutting trees to save the Spotted Owl."
"Then the carpenters formed a union and went out on strike. I had to negotiate a settlement with the National Labor Relations Board before anyone would pick up a saw or a hammer. Now we got 16 carpenters going on the boat, and still no owls."
"Then I started gathering up the animals, and got sued by an animal rights group. They objected to me taking only two of each kind. Just when I got the suit dismissed, EPA notified me that I couldn't complete the Ark without filing an environmental impact statement on your proposed Flood."
"Then the Army Corps of Engineers wanted a map of the proposed new flood plain. I sent them a globe."
"And the IRS (The tax authorities) has seized all my assets claiming I'm trying to avoid paying taxes by leaving the country, and I just got a notice from the state about owing some kind of use tax."
"I really don't think I can finish your Ark for at least another five years," Noah wailed.
The sky began to clear. The sun began to shine. A rainbow arched across the sky. Noah looked up and smiled. "You mean you're not going to destroy the earth?" Noah asked, hopefully.
"Wrong!" thundered the Lord. "But being Lord of the Universe has its advantages. I fully intend to smite the Earth, but with something far worse than a Flood. Something Man invented himself."
"What's that?" asked Noah.
There was a long pause, and then the Lord spoke: