Friday, October 31, 2014

Brunei Down on Ease of Doing Business


Fitri Shahminan

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN, Thursday, October 30, 2014 - BRUNEI is now placed at 101 in the latest World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business Report 2015, which lists a total of 189 economies.

This is 42 notches lower than its 59th ranking in the previous year.

The Sultanate ranked lower in terms of registering property, getting credit and resolving bankruptcy.

The Washington-based lender said entrepreneurs will need 101 days and go through 15 procedures to set up a new business in the Sultanate.

On the other hand, entrepreneurs in Singapore - which is one of the easiest places to run a business according to the World Bank report - only need 2.5 days to open a business, 31 days to get electricity and four days and $440 to import a container.

Businessmen also need 298 days and go through seven procedures to register a property in Brunei.

In comparison, entrepreneurs who dobusiness in other countries in East Asia and Pacific region will only need 78 days and go through five procedures to register a property. In Singapore, it will only take 4.5 days and four procedures to register a property.

In terms of getting credit, economies are assessed based on their credit reporting systems and the effectiveness of collateral and bankruptcy laws in facilitating lending.

The legal rights index ranges from 0 to 10, with higher scores indicating that those laws are better designed to expand access to credit.

In this regard, Brunei’s score of four is relatively low compared to the average six by other countries in East Asia and Pacific as well as member state of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.

On the plus side, Brunei has improved across two of the 10 indicators that were reviewed by the World Bank.

The World Bank said Brunei has made dealing with construction permits easier by consolidating final inspections.

Businesses only need to wait 88 days and go through 17 procedures to obtain a permit for construction activities. This is shorter than the average 134 days in other countries within East Asia and Pacific region, although the number of processes on average is fewer at 14.

The World Bank added that Brunei has also made paying taxes easier for companies by allowing joint filing and payment of supplemental contributory pension and employee provident fund contributions and by introducing an online system for paying these two contributions.

Brunei’s total tax rate on businesses amounts to 15.8 per cent.

In contrast, businesses in Malaysia - which ranked second in ASEAN and 18th globally - pay a total tax rate of 39.2 per cent.

The ease of doing business indicators are: starting a business; dealing with construction permits; getting electricity; registering property; getting credit; protecting minority investors; paying taxes; trading across borders; enforcing contracts; and resolving insolvency.

The top 10 performers in World Bank’s Doing Business Report, in order of ranking, are Singapore, New Zealand, Hong Kong SAR, Denmark, Republic of Korea, Norway, United States, United Kingdom, Finland and Australia.

For the Doing Business Report 2015, the World Bank has introduced several changes in methodology and scope of assessment from a heavy focus on the efficiency factors towards the assessment of the quality of legal infrastructure within an economy and how they promote efficiency in the delivery of services.

The revision of this methodology, which shifted from the ordinal system based on percentile to cardinal metric ranking system, sees a new scoring structure based on the ‘Distance To Frontier (DTF)’ from the Best Performers / Practice of participating economies.

The use of aggregate values of the overall DTF scoring across 10 ease of doing business indicators is now the basis of new ranking for each of the economies.

Based on the new methodology, Brunei’s rank in the Doing Business Report 2014, was revised to 98th, which means the Sultanate only slipped 3 notches.

The World Bank gave Brunei an overall DTF score of 61.26 in this latest ranking update.

The Brunei Times

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Thursday, October 30, 2014

Sultan Brunei: Use Science to Uplift Society

His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah (C), the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam and HRH Prince ‘Abdul Wakeel (R) look at children making slime during the Knowledge Convention at the International Convention Centre yesterday. BT/Ridhwan Kamarulzaman

RASIDAH HAB

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN, Wednesday, October 29, 2014 - HIS Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam yesterday encouraged the use of science and technology to improve Muslims’ lives, but warned against using it to undermine the power of Allah SWT.

Delivering his titah during the launch of Knowledge Convention 2014, the Sultan said Islam cannot be separated from science and technology.

“There is nothing wrong with science and technology. Islam in its history of civilisation had contributed to the advancement of science and technology,” His Majesty said.

The monarch said Brunei is not left behind in terms of science and technology.

He said the country uses science and technology to implement the National Development Plans for its infrastructure — roads, buildings, bridges, provision of electricity and water supply, medical facilities and education.

“We make use of science and technology solely for its benefits, not to cause damage on this earth.

Speaking on the convention’s theme of ‘Science and Technology: Catalyst of Development and Enhancing the Ummah’s Quality of Life’, the monarch went on to voice his support to future scientists and technologies.

“We will provide them with support and adequate facilities for their research, where the outcome will bring our nation forward,” His Majesty said.

“When we achieve this, we will not stop and will continue to strive for the benefits and welfare of others as well.

“InsyaAllah, all can benefit from a civilisation that comprised science and technology. We promote kindness and oppose evil for humanity. It is not wrong for us to aspire to be ummatan wasatan (a just and best ummah) as mentioned in the Quran,” His Majesty said. However, the Sultan said Muslims need to be careful in matters related to the country’s development, in their quest to improve their standard of living.

“We do not accept science and technology to belittle Allah SWT, but rather it is used to marvel at His power,” the sovereign added.

His Majesty said children are educated with science and technology that do not contradict religious laws.

“We also reject the use of science and technology as a tool to destroy earth and everything in it. What we accept is science and technology that can be used to instil peace in this world with prosperity and humanity,” he added.

The Sultan went on to say that there are countless scientific indicators in Al-Quran that had been used in science and technology, but has never been highlighted by anyone.

“That is why for us (Muslims), science and technology will be wrong if it is considered to be solely derived from men.

“Science and technology is just a small piece in the pool of knowledge. Knowledge belongs to Allah SWT, it does not belong to anyone,” he said.

It is rewarded to men as a blessing and must be used in ways that are appropriate, His Majesty added. “Allah SWT reminded us that we will be asked during Judgement Day on how and what the blessings are used for,” he said.

His Majesty cited an example of Kaum ‘Aad (people of Aad) who possessed knowledge and skills, but were arrogant and refused to believe in Allah SWT.

He also cited Prophet Hud ‘alaihissalam, who was sent to the people of Aad so that they will return to the right path, but they remained arrogant and therefore Allah (SWT) wiped them out.

The Knowledge Convention, which will end on November 4, is held to mark His Majesty’s 68th birthday.

The Brunei Times

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Sunday, October 26, 2014

Sultan Brunei: Muslims Must Be Courageous


BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN, Saturday, October 25, 2014 - HIS Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam yesterday urged Muslims to be brave and dedicated in upholding and preserving the sanctity of Islam, and make sacrifices in doing good deeds for the sake of Allah SWT.

“By doing so, we will find that (in return) Allah SWT will definitely come to our aid; and this is His promise, verily, Allah SWT’s promise is absolutely true and it will be honoured and never will it be broken,” the monarch said in a titah to mark the Islamic new year 1436 Hijrah.

In the titah, His Majesty noted that Muslims today were weak and have become afraid to show the goodness of Islam and its teaching, placing themselves in a position that is no longer worthy of becoming the best of ummah (community).

This is why it is important for Muslims to learn valuable lessons and examples taught in hijrah — the migration of Prophet Muham-mad SAW from Mekah to Madinah. “Hijrah reveals to us how vitally important it is to have courage (and) the spirit of sacrifice and loyalty,” the monarch said.

“If there was not any courage or if the spirit of sacrifice and loyalty were absent (in Prophet Muhammad SAW and his companion), the great migration would not have become an integral part of the Islamic history.”

The migration from Mekah to Madinah took place in a manner that was most extraordinary – where the journey was beset by a multitude of obstacles and hardships. It is an event full of divine barakah (blessings) as it was done following the command of Allah SWT in order to protect the Islamic aqidah (belief) brought by Prophet Muhammad SAW, and not simply to flee from persecution.

“Just imagine, there were just two persons — Prophet Muham-mad SAW and his companion, Sayyidina Abu Bakar RA — setting out on a journey, whereas their enemies were large in number, persistently pursuing and searching for them everywhere,” said the monarch.

Due to their courage and willingness to sacrifice anything in addition to their strong faith and belief in God, Allah SWT delivered them from danger and enemies. Without Allah SWT’s protection, the hijrah would have met with failure along the way.

The monarch said that a spider would not have immediately weaved its web and pigeons would not have built their nests at the entrance of the cave (indicating that the place had not been entered by anyone) where the two had used as a hiding place, without help and protection from Allah SWT.

In such context, His Majesty emphasised that it is crucial for Muslims to truly understand the concept involved in the event, as it entailed many things that test one’s resolve in leading a truly religious life.

“If we do not have the attitude of such great figures in the history of Hijrah, it is feared that Muslims of today would (continue to) become weak and marginalised, despite the fact that Allah SWT had recognised us Muslims as the best of ummah because of our habits in inviting others to do good and advising against doing bad deeds,” His Majesty noted.

Commenting on this year’s new year celebration theme, “Be Unified in Support of Allah SWT’s Law”, the monarch said that such a powerful and noble phrase needs to be uttered with courage and honesty.

“Celebrating and welcoming the new year in the Islamic calendar is a tradition in this country to reflect on the historical accounts of Prophet Muhammad SAW’s migration from Mekah to Madinah,

(And) I am thankful to Allah SWT for being able to celebrate the coming of new year 1436 in an atmosphere of comfort and harmony,” His Majesty added.

Wishing Bruneians a “Happy New Hijrah Year 1436”, the monarch hoped that Allah SWT will place the nation and its people under His divine help and protection; that Brunei will also be blessed with peace, tranquility; and the people will continue to live together in harmony and solidarity. — Waqiuddin Rajak

The Brunei Times

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Saturday, October 25, 2014

Brunei Antiques






Brunei antiques can be quite addictive if one is into it. Take me for instance. I started off with a few pieces handed down by my mother who first got into the habit sometimes in 1980s. She kept them aside and dug them out during my youngest sister's wedding to make way for wedding door gifts in the store room. I realised how much I like them and have continued to the collection since then.

These ones are the latest to be delivered to me at the house which consisted of 6 periuks, 2 pelitas, one table pelita as well as several celapas of different sizes.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Brunei's Affordable Public Housing Bungalows



AsiaOne, Singapore

Wednesday, Oct 22, 2014 - Unlike the high-rise public housing available in various parts of Asia, Brunei's public homes come in the form of landed houses the size of bungalows in Singapore.

Each of these two-storey houses reportedly measures over 330 sq m or 3,552 sq ft in land area. In Singapore, bungalows have a minimum land area of 400 sq m or 4,306 sq ft.

According to a report on Taiwan's Set TV news, the price tag on one of these government-subsidised homes and the land it is built on is around $84,000.

The two-storey homes come with spacious rooms and kitchens and are comfortable to live in.

Homeowners can sign up for interest-free loans of up to 30 years. There is even a 3-month trial stay period with no charge.

- See more at: http://business.asiaone.com/property/showcase/check-out-bruneis-affordable-public-housing-bungalows#sthash.6S3k4Mps.dpuf

This would seem like an extremely good deal to residents in other Asian countries where land and property are a lot more expensive.

Utilities in Brunei are also extremely affordable when compared to its neighbouring countries. One family Set TV news spoke to said that they kept their air-conditioner switched on all day, every day but spent just $8.40 on utilities that month.

In Brunei, most people used to live in kelong-like homes on the water. As a result of this, many were exposed to widespread communicable diseases like cholera and smallpox in the early 1950s. As a result, the government began to resettle these water village inhabitants inland.

To qualify for the National Housing Programme, applicants need to be first-time property owners, at least 18 years old and must have a salary between $ 445 and $ 3,030. The average waiting time for a house is less than 12 years, but the Brunei government aims to reduce this to just 5 years by 2021.

A 2013 ASEAN Conference paper on Brunei's public housing programme said that the Brunei Darussalam government had doubled its budget allocation for public housing from $550 million to $1.141 billion in the past 10 years.

ljessica@sph.com.sg

- See more at: http://business.asiaone.com/property/showcase/check-out-bruneis-affordable-public-housing-bungalows#sthash.6S3k4Mps.dpuf

Thursday, October 23, 2014

US State Department: US Government Agrees Syariah Law Consistent with Human Rights


QURATUL-AIN BANDIAL

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN, Thursday, October 23, 2014 - BRUNEI must maintain its international human rights commitments as it rolls out the Syariah Penal Code, said a senior US official yesterday.

Shaarik Zafar, the US State Department’s Special Representative to Muslim Communities, said his government believes that Syariah and human rights are compatible, although Washington has expressed concerns about some of the punishments prescribed under the Code.

Zafar, who is in the Sultanate on a two-day visit, met with His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam and senior religious officials yesterday, to discuss US engagement with the Muslim world, including counter terrorism and Brunei’s introduction of the Syariah Penal Code.

“Brunei has made commitments to international religious freedom and other human rights. The US government is not in a position to say what Syariah law is and what it isn’t. What we do say is that governments that have made a commitment to uphold fundamental human rights have an obligation to do so regardless of what the particular penal code is,” he told local media yesterday.

“We were told that Islam and Syariah are fully consistent with human rights, and we fully agree with that. What we heard consistently today is there is no contradiction,” Zafar added.

The envoy said during his meetings he raised concerns about punishments prescribed under the Syariah Penal Code, such as amputation for theft, stoning for adultery and the death penalty for murder.

“What we’ve been told is the evidentiary standards that would apply are so high that in reality these penalties would never be carried out. This legislation took some time to be developed it’s still going to be taking time to be implemented,” he said, adding that the US will continue to monitor developments in Brunei. “We look forward to learning more and working with the government of Brunei.

The Brunei Times

Brunei's National Masterplan for a Sustainable Land Transport Masterplan

YB Pehin Abdudllah, Minister of Communications with Haji Mohd Rozan, PS PMO (left)
and YB Haji Zulkifli, Member of LEGCO and YM Haji Mutalib, PS MinComm

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN, 21 OCTOBER 2013 - BASED on the findings in the National Master Plan for a Sustainable Land Transportation System For Brunei Darussalam conducted by the Centre for Strategic and Policy Studies (CSPS), a MRT or LRT system is not feasible for the country because of low population density and high price tag of the system.

The conclusion was revealed by Dr Diana Cheong, Chief researcher of CSPS, who is also the principal researcher of the master plan, during an interview yesterday.

"We conducted a cost benefit analysis not only on the cost efficiency but also environment, social and political factors. Based on Wawasan 2035 projection of four to six per cent economic growth and future population growth, it was found that the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system is more than sufficient to meet the needs of the people."

Regarding car dependency, insufficient public transportation and traffic congestion, she said, "The backbone of the strategies in the master plan is to improve public transportation through the BRT system which will be supported by park-and-ride facilities. There will be a big public transport interchange."

She added, "We will not see the end of normal buses. The current bus system will be enhanced and will work as a feeder system for BRT, which is centred around Bandar Seri Begawan. There will be four major BRT lines. We are also looking at demand responsive transport system using taxis.

The master plan took more than a year to complete and was funded by the Brunei Research Council. The master plan was carried out with support of consultants from SQW China Limited and Atkins China Limited.

The new transportation system is designed to meet the countryĆ¢€™s transportation needs, economic growth, urbanisation and improve the quality of life. It will also address environmental challenges of transportation.

Hj Mohd Rozan bin Dato Paduka Hj Mohd Yunos, member of the CSPS Board of Director and Permanent Secretary (Media and Cabinet) at the Prime Minister's Office, in a speech said, "the purpose of the national land transportation master plan, white paper and related roadmaps, collectively called LTMP study, is to set out a strategic framework and actionable proposals for the development of an integrated, high-quality, rapid, efficient and safe transport network for Brunei Darussalam. In ensuring sustainable, equitable and efficient connectivity and mobility, we hope that the LTMP study will not only address the transportation challenges today but also address the transportation challenges of our future as underlined in the goals of Wawasan 2035."

Some 80 stakeholders gathered at the forum on National Master Plan For Sustainable Land Transportation System For Brunei Darussalam at The Empire Hotel & Country Club.

The guest of honour was Pehin Orang Kaya Hamzah Pahlawan Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Abdullah bin Begawan Mudim Dato Paduka Haji Bakar, Minister of Communications.

BORNEO BULETTIN

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Asian Development Bank: Brunei's Economic Growth 2014-2015

LEO KASIM

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN, Tuesday, October 21, 2014 - BRUNEI could see a further contraction in its gross domestic product (GDP) growth rate for this year and the next unless oil and gas production recovers, the Asian Development Bank said in its latest report.

In its recent Asian Development Outlook 2014 (ADO 2014), the ADB said the Sultanate is on track for a 1.1 to 1.2 per cent growth in GDP for 2014-2015 provided that the country manages to recover some of its declining hydrocarbon production.

Brunei’s oil and gas production declined in three consecutive quarters, falling by 10.3 per cent in the first quarter of 2014 from last year.

“Assuming some recovery in hydrocarbon production, forecasts are retained for slight economic growth this year and next,” the Manila-based lender said.

The ADB said that lower production in the oil and gas sector reduced GDP by 3.3 per cent in the first quarter, following a contraction by a revised 1.8 per cent in 2013.

The bank said shutdowns and maintenance of production facilities in the first half of the year squeezed production.

Meanwhile, the non-oil and gas economy comprising services, construction and manufacturing, expanded by 3.1 per cent in the first quarter of this year.

According to its earlier report in April, daily oil output has declined by nearly 40 per cent since 2006 due to managed production, facility maintenance and oilfield depletion.

Production of crude oil fell to 134,460 barrels per day in the second quarter of 2013 from 154,240 in 2012, it added.

The bank also said that Brunei’s GDP would be driven by a gradual expansion of the non-oil and gas sectors and some recovery in oil and gas production.

Growth in 2014-2015 will depend on the pace of infrastructure construction under the national development plan after seeing a decline in GDP by 1.4 per cent last year on the back of a contraction in the oil and gas sector.

The speed of growth in 2014-2015 will depend on the implementation of public projects under the plan for 2012 to 2017 which have sometimes lagged behind the schedule.

Some of the infrastructure projects the report cited were the oil refinery and aromatics crackers project at Pulau Muara Besar, airport expansion and development of three major bridges.

The Brunei Times

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Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Sultan Brunei attends Indonesian President Joko Widodo's inauguration

HM Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah meets new Indonesian President Joko Widodo

HM Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah joined other world leaders at the inauguration ceremony of the new Indonesian President


RABIATUL KAMIT

JAKARTA, Tuesday, October 21, 2014 - HIS Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam yesterday attended the official inauguration ceremony of the new President of Indonesia, Joko Widodo.

Upon arrival at Gedung Nusantara 1, Kompleks Parlimen, the monarch was greeted by outgoing Indonesian President Dato Laila Utama Dr H Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.

His Majesty then joined other invited world leaders at the Sidang Paripurna for the official inauguration ceremony.

The monarch also consented to be formally introduced to the assembly of the Majelis Permusyawaratan Rakyat of Indonesia.

His Majesty witnessed the swearing-in ceremony of Joko Widodo as the seventh President and Muhammad Jusuf Kalla as Vice-President, followed by the signing of their letters of appointment and the new President’s inaugural address.

Other regional leaders present at the ceremony were prime ministers Najib Razak of Malaysia, Lee Hsien Loong of Singapore, and Tony Abbott of Australia.

US Secretary of State John Kerry also came to witness the inauguration.

After taking the oath in parliament, Widodo called for unity following the most bitterly fought election in Indonesian history.

Widodo also travelled through the streets of the capital Jakarta in a horse-drawn carriage, with tens of thousands of flag-waving supporters cheering and shouting his name.

His Majesty along with fellow heads of state attended a reception ceremony with the President and Vice-President after the official inauguration ceremony.

The monarch departed the Indonesian capital after the inauguration ceremony.

Prior to leaving the Grand Hyatt Jakarta Hotel, a Doa Selamat was read by State Mufti Yang Berhormat Pehin Datu Seri Maharaja Dato Paduka Seri Setia (Dr) Ustaz Hj Abd Aziz Juned.

Present at the Halim Perdanakusuma International Airport to bid farewell to the monarch were senior government officials of Indonesia.

Among those present were Bagas Hapsoro, Director-General of Staff Management at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Her Excellency Nurul Qomar, Indonesia’s Ambassador to Brunei; and His Excellency Brigadier General (Rtd) Dato Paduka Hj Mahmud Hj Saidin, Brunei’s Ambassador to Indonesia.

His Majesty was accompanied by Yang Berhormat Pehin Orang Kaya Laila Setia Dato Seri Setia Hj Abd Rahman Hj Ibrahim, Second Minister of Finance, and Yang Berhormat Pehin Orang Kaya Pekerma Dewa Dato Seri Setia Lim Jock Seng, Second Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

The Brunei Times

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Sultan Brunei meets US Secretary John Kerry

HM Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah meets HE US Secretary of State John Kerry

JAKARTA, Tuesday, October 21, 2014 - HIS Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam yesterday met US Secretary of State John Kerry in Indonesia yesterday.

The bilateral meeting took place during a reception for invited world leaders in Jakarta, following the inauguration ceremony of the new Indonesian President Joko Widodo.

Senior US Department of State officials had said Kerry would meet leaders of Muslim-majority Southeast Asian nations to seek support against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

The press briefing released by the US State Department on Sunday addded that the meetings could also touch on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations.

A press statement from the Prime Minister’s Office said His Majesty and Kerry discussed bilateral issues and cooperation between Brunei and the United States, and exchanged views on regional and international matters of mutual concern.

Present were Yang Berhormat Pehin Orang Kaya Laila Setia Dato Seri Setia Hj Abd Rahman Hj Ibrahim, Second Minister of Finance, and Yang Berhormat Pehin Orang Kaya Pekerma Dewa Dato Seri Setia Lim Jock Seng, Second Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

The Brunei Times

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Sunday, October 19, 2014

Sultan Brunei Meets Italian Prime Minister and Dutch Prime Minister

The Sultan during talks with Netherlands Prime Minister Mark Rutte at the MiCo Congressi Convention Centre in Milan. Infofoto

His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam in a bilateral meeting with Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi.


RACHEL THIEN

MILAN, Friday, October 17, 2014 - HIS Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam yesterday held two more bilateral meetings with the prime ministers of Italy and The Netherlands on the sidelines of the 10th Asia-Europe Summit Meetings (ASEM).

The Sultan first met with Netherlands Prime Minister Mark Rutte at the MiCo Congressi Convention Centre, where they discussed bilateral issues and cooperation between Brunei and the Netherlands.

Both His Majesty and the prime minister exchanged views on regional and international matters of mutual concern.

The monarch then held another bilateral meeting with Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi.

Italy is currently hosting the 10th ASEM Summit.

They discussed bilateral issues and cooperation. His Majesty and Prime Minister Renzi had the opportunity to exchange views related to Europe and other regions.

Present during both meetings were Minister of Finance II at the Prime Minister’s Office Yang Berhormat Pehin Orang Kaya Laila Setia Dato Seri Setia Awang Hj Abd Rahman Hj Ibrahim; Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade II Yang Berhormat Pehin Orang Kaya Pekerma Dewa Dato Seri Setia Lim Jock Seng, and Non-Resident Ambassador of Brunei to Italy Dato Paduka Zainidi Hj Sidup.

The Brunei Times

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Saturday, October 18, 2014

Brunei Energy Minister: Brunei Commits Green Development

(L-R) Dato’ Saw Choo Boon, President of Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers; Lee Yi Shyan, Senior Minister of State Ministry of Industry and Trade Singapore; YB Pehin Datu Singamanteri Colonel (Rtd) Dato Seri Setia (Dr) Hj Mohammad Yasmin Hj Umar, Brunei's Minister of Energy at the Prime Minister’s Office; Datuk Seri Panglima Dr Maximus Johnity Ongkili, Malaysia's Minister of Energy, Green Technology & Water; Say Samal, Cambodia's Minister of Energy, in a Minister-Industry Dialogue during the 5th International GreenTech & Eco Products Exhibition & Conference (IGEM) in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Picture: Courtesy of EDPMO

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

MALAYSIA, Saturday, October 18, 2014 - BRUNEI Darussalam stressed its commitment to pursuing green development in order to develop the energy sector in a sustainable manner.

This was brought up by Minister of Energy at the Prime Minister’s Office Yang Berhormat Pehin Datu Singamanteri Colonel (Rtd) Dato Seri Setia (Dr) Hj Mohammad Yasmin Hj Umar, who was also one of the invited panellists in a Minister-Industry Dialogue during the Fifth International GreenTech & Eco Products Exhibition & Conference (IGEM) on Thursday in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

The Energy Department at the Prime Minister’s Office (EDPMO) in a statement yesterday said that the aforementioned commitment is in line with His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam’s address at the recent UN Climate Summit where His Majesty announced Brunei’s commitment to 63 per cent reduction of primary energy consumption by 2035 from the business-as-usual scenario with 2009 as the baseline.

On the renewable energy front, Brunei aims to have at least 10 per cent share of renewable energy in the total electricity generation mix by 2035.

In the pursuit towards achieving sustainable energy, EDPMO said it has implemented electricity tariff reform in 2012, and is introducing various measures such as standards and labelling, and building energy efficiency code in collaboration with the Ministry of Development.

“There is a need for more innovative solutions to provide for sustainable green development,” added YB Pehin Dato Hj Mohammad Yasmin.

The dialogue provides a platform for ministers and industry representatives to have in-depth discussion pertaining opportunities and potentials of green growth in the region. One of the key takeaways of the dialogue is the need for policymakers to create a conducive environment for the private sector to invest in green technologies.

Among the participants of the dialogue were ministers from Malaysia, Cambodia, Singapore with the industry represented by the President of Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers and the President of Malaysian Green Business Association.

Under the theme “Generating Green Wealth in Spurring the Nation’s Prosperity”, the 5th IGEM was organised by the Ministry of Energy, Green Technology and Water, Malaysia (KeTTHA).

Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia, YAB Tan Sri Dato’ Hj Muhyiddin Hj Mohd Yassin officiated at the annual event.

The objective of IGEM 2014 is to provide a platform for industry players to showcase the latest innovative development of green technology and eco-products as well as to seek high-level collaboration and technology transfer for green growth development.

During the event, EDPMO also participated in the IGEM Exhibition to showcase Brunei’s green growth initiatives that include energy-efficient technologies as part of its efforts to reduce energy consumption. —Sally Piri

The Brunei Times

Friday, October 17, 2014

Sultan Brunei: Brunei Do Not Condone Terrorism

His Majesty The Sultan of Brunei with Leaders from Asia and Europe at the 10th Asia-Europe Summit in Milan.


RACHEL THIEN

MILAN, Friday, October 17, 2014 - HIS Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam in a titah before fellow leaders from Asia and Europe made it clear that the Sultanate does not stand for terrorism, and called on regional and international partners to work in combatting its roots.

During the Second Plenary Session at the 10th Asia-Europe Summit (ASEM) Meeting here in Milan, the monarch said increasing violence and brutality perpetrated by terrorist groups has sparked deep concern among ASEM member states.

The Sultan stressed that Brunei strongly condemns terrorism in all its forms, and totally rejects extremism and radicalism.

His Majesty said Brunei supports the recent UN Security Council Resolutions (2170) and (2178) to suppress the activities of terrorist groups.

Brunei, like other ASEM member countries, believes that the root causes of terrorism and extremism should be addressed in a comprehensive manner, the ruler added.

The monarch welcomed Malaysia’s proposal to host a symposium on countering radicalisation, which he said will help to highlight the many different facets in dealing with counter-terrorism.

His Majesty said he hoped to see more information-sharing and capacity-building between enforcement agencies, both regionally and internationally to address the issue.

The Sultan also encouraged inter-faith dialogues to be held to promote tolerance and understanding, and to counter the views and activities of extremists.

During the second plenary session leaders discussed the “Europe-Asia Partnership in addressing global matters in an inter-connected world’’.

His Majesty also spoke on the importance of people-to-people ties, and said fostering these relationships is an important element in enhancing ASEM’s relevance to its society.

Programme exchanges like the EU’s Horizon 2020 offer many practical opportunities in capacity building and technology transfer that are valuable to students, think-tanks and researchers in Asia, said His Majesty.

His Majesty said he believed these interactions will allow students the opportunity to contribute to discussions on inter-regional and global challenges they face.

The Sultan also welcomed ASEM students to Brunei next May to participate in a workshop aimed at promoting entrepreneurship.

Meanwhile, His Majesty said ASEM’s contribution would be valuable in garnering support on specific issues towards the United Nation’s post-2015 Development Agenda and in contemplating a new climate agreement next year.

This is where a partnership within ASEM was appreciated, in terms of promoting low-carbon technology transfer to developing countries by making it affordable and accessible to all, His Majesty said.

His Majesty said he hoped that ASEM will continue to draw strength from its diversity, and focus on the synergies and common interests that will help bring ASEM’s work in the next decade to a higher level.

Accompanying the monarch were Minister of Finance II at the Prime Minister’s Office Yang Berhormat Pehin Orang Kaya Laila Setia Dato Seri Setia Awang Hj Abd Rahman Hj Ibrahim and Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade II Yang Berhormat Pehin Orang Kaya Pekerma Dewa Dato Seri Setia Lim Jock Seng.

The Sultan last night attend a dinner reception hosted by Giorgio Napolitano, President of the Republic of Italy in conjunction with the 10th Asia-Europe Summit Meeting.

The dinner reception was held at the Palazzo Reale, Italy.

The Brunei Times

***

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Sultan Brunei meet EU President at 10th ASEM

Monday, October 13, 2014

Vintage Brunei Measuring Devices


Many young people do not know what these are. These were used by the Brunei Business Establishments, at the markets, at the provision shops. The Dacing or weighing scale was used to measure weights of goods being sold. These were used until about 1973 or thereabouts as Brunei changed to the metric system. The Dacing measures weights using 'katis' which is the local weighing term. During the conversion I remember the PR which keeps saying that one kati is equal to 600 grams.

The Gantang together with its accessories, the Cupak, the Cupak 4 and Cupak 8 are used to measure volumes of goods to be sold off. One gangtang is equal to 4 cupak. These were used probably much earlier.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Sultan Brunei: Greater Engagements Between Governments and People



Izzan Kassim
BALI, INDONESIA

Saturday, October 11, 2014 - HIS Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam called for greater engagement between governments and people in combating the challenges of the 21st century.

Challenges of the 21st century, such as economic inequalities, pandemic disasters or transnational crime, require the people to be contructively engaged by their government, His Majesty said in a titah delivered during the opening session of the Seventh Bali Democracy Forum (BDF).

His Majesty said that political, economic and social development can “promote greater interaction between the government and its people”. The resulting partnership should be peaceful, inclusive and consultative.

His Majesty associated good governance to “a partnership which recognises and supports the roles and responsibilities of all its stakeholders and is based on trust, dialogue and concensus”.

ASEAN has taken steps to reach out and involve its citizens, along with those in the private sector, academia, youth and civil society, he said, adding that dialogues between the government and these groups are a constant feature of the ASEAN process.

The dialogues play an important role in helping governments in the decision making process, but more work is needed to fully realise a people-centered ASEAN.

“We can utilise technology to both listen to the views of our people and to share information with them on how they can benefit from our regional cooperation,” said His Majesty at the Bali International Conference Centre.

He urged government and non-government sectors to prioritise their work, and focus on issues that directly affect the citizens, such as disaster management, human trafficking, drug abuse and the effects of climate change.

His Majesty also called for countries in the region to listen to each others concern and work collectively for the common good of all its people.

His Majesty shared his observations of the changes in regional landscape over the past three decades which have altered the way governments engage their citizens.

“This past year, has brought us rapid development and positive improvements in the quality of governance required to reflect the growing expectations of our people,” His Majesty said, adding that substantial progress in the socio-economic area has the global population enjoying higher standards of living, better healthcare as well as education,

His Majesty was impressed by the combined economic output of the Asia-Pacific region, including Southeast Asia, which amounts to 40 per cent of global growth and one-third of the world's trade.

“The size of our affluent middle-class is increasing and most importantly, the development drive has lifted a substantial number of our people out of poverty.”

He also noted the progress made towards achieving the Millenium Development Goals by 2015 stating that it boded well for the current generation.

“This strongly advocates the critical importance of human development, that is inclusive, people-centered and sustainable,” said His Majesty regarding the United Nations’ transformative post-2015 development agenda.

However, ASEAN still has to overcome a number of challenges. His Majesty pointed out that accomplishments made in the last 15 years have eluded a sizeable proportion of people in the many parts of the world where poverty, inequality and social injustices still exist.

Many still struggle with each negative impacts, His Majesty said, adding that rapid growth and development has also had impacted the natural environment negatively.

To deal with these challenges, His Majesty urged ASEAN to consolidate and build on its achievements over the past few decades.

“We (ASEAN) need to clarify what we hope to achieve through people-centered development and reflect clarity in our strategies and programmes for the future.”

Peace and stability in the political sense should mean that the basic security of citizens are met, the monarch said, while economically, rapid development means gaining material benefits and at the same time narrowing disparities in wealth and alleviating poverty. Globalisation should nurture equitable growth whilst also preserving human dignity.

In the titah, His Majesty congratulated the Indonesian President, Prof D Hj Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, for hosting the Seventh BDF.

He praised Yudhoyono on his 10-year tenure as president, where he led Indonesia through significant economic growth and development, and mentioned that convening the series of democracy forums is a testament to the president's farsightedness.

His Majesty added that the smooth and successful elections in Indonesia this year augur well for both Indonesia and the region, where it has helped inspire confidence in continued peace, stability and prosperity in Southeast Asia.

His Majesty expressed confidence that under Yudhoyono’s guidance, the president’s successor, Joko Widodo, Indonesia will continue to be a beacon of progress for the region.

His Majesty also said that he is looking forward to working with the new president for the betterment of the region as a whole.

The Brunei Times

***

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Sultan Brunei: Examine New Curriculum SPN21 for Flaws



Waqiuddin Rajak and Amanda Yap
BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

Friday, October 10, 2014 - THE Ministry of Education (MoE) must not only focus on the strengths and achievements of the national education system, SPN 21, but it must also look into the system’s faults and shortcomings, if any, as it conducts its review.

His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam in his Teachers’ Day titah said: “I still remember when the system was first introduced it showed a number of flaws. Have these weaknesses been addressed? What is the outcome?”

His Majesty in commending the ministry’s efforts also lauded its initiative to review the system.

His Majesty said he was pleased to know that the literacy rate in the country for men and women age 15 to 24 were at 99.18 per cent and 99.53 per cent, respectively, which showed that Brunei had met one of its targets in its Millenium Development Goals.

His Majesty said that Brunei had also fulfilled six objectives in the Education for All (EFA) framework, which need to be achieved by 2015.

“Based on reports released by UNESCO, we have performed well compared to the situation in other countries (where) 250 million children worldwide are unable to read, write and count,” said His Majesty.

“One hundred thirty million children in primary schools were found to have not met the minimum standards of learning, and another 120 million have low rates of attendance in primary schools, including a total of 57 million who are not in school.”

“Certainly we do not want to hear that we would also be a contributor to those numbers,” said the monarch.

The monarch also expressed his joy in the knowledge that the country is now able to provide “human capital” services, delivering local trainers to teach the English language to neighbouring countries compared to the past where the country was only known as a financial contributor.

Noting that Bruneians are part of the world’s citizens enjoying the progress of education, His Majesty reminded people not to forget Islamic education as the foundation of the education system in the present day.

“This is where we began. Whether it be formal or informal, we shape and cast our education based on the foundations of Islamic education. This is our Brunei and our education; none can influence or change it,” said His Majesty.

His Majesty also said that with the foresight of Almarhum Sultan Haji Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien Sa’adul Khairi Waddien, an educational policy balanced with the emphasis of Islamic religious education was implemented, besides developing normal education.

The policy, said His Majesty, has been successful in producing quality local intellectuals and had become increasingly strong over time.

Not only the policy was able to produce the human capacity needed, said the monarch, but it also managed to unite people in a strong unity anchored to Malay Muslim Monarchy (MIB).

His Majesty also urged teachers to prove their prowess by having competent leadership qualities, besides having an extensive knowledge as this is where greatness of teachers is seen, giving them continued respect.

“Teachers should remind us not to be complacent, and to work hard to strengthen the teaching and learning that is directed to the skills and expertise of the 21st century,” he said.

The Brunei Times

***

Thursday, October 09, 2014

Brunei Crown Prince: Towards Brunei Vision 2035


Nadzri Zailani
BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

Thursday, October 9, 2014 - HIS Royal Highness Prince Hj Al-Muhtadee Billah, the Crown Prince, Senior Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office and Chairman of the new Majlis Tertinggi Wawasan Brunei 2035 (Vision 2035 Executive Council) attended the council’s first meeting held at the West Wing Conference Room at the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) yesterday.

Upon HRH’s arrival, he was greeted by the Co-Deputy Chairman of the Council, Minister of Finance II Yang Berhormat Pehin Orang Kaya Laila Setia Dato Seri Setia Hj Abd Rahman Hj Ibrahim, and Energy Minister Yang Berhormat Pehin Datu Singamanteri Colonel (Rtd) Dato Seri Setia (Dr) Hj Md Yasmin Hj Umar.

The recital of surah Al-Fatihah and Doa started off the meeting.

In a sabda, His Royal Highness said that “the council’s main role is to intensively and systematically assist the efforts of various government agencies in realising the success of the vision’s goals”.

He went on to congratulate the members of the council and added that together they will “contribute ideas, share experiences and resolve to unite towards holistically and comprehensively achieving the vision’s goal”.

The PMO said in a statement that one of the main roles of the council is to ensure that the strategies and policies relating to the national development agenda are coordinated at the highest level in a more systematic manner while continually addressing issues and challenges to lead the country towards Vision Brunei 2035.

The meeting was also briefed on the Initial Review of Wawasan Brunei, the Governance Structure, and Terms of Reference of the Council, while also discussing the way forward for the council.

Members of the council also include Minister of Education YB Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Kerna Dato Seri Setia (Dr) Hj Awang Abu Bakar Hj Apong, Minister of Development YB Pehin Orang Kaya Indera Pahlawan Dato Seri Setia Hj Suyoi Hj Osman, Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports YB Pehin Orang Kaya Pekerma Laila Diraja Dato Seri Setia Hj Hazair Hj Abdullah, Minister of Industry and Primary Resources YB Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Utama Dato Seri Setia Hj Yahya Begawan Mudim Dato Paduka Hj Bakar and Deputy Minister at the (PMO) Dato Paduka Hj Abd Wahab Juned.

The Brunei Times

***

Brunei Air Force buys US$343 million Lockheed Martin C-130J Super Hercules

Lockheed Martin C-130J Super Hercules - Source: File Photo Lockheed Martin
| Siti Hajar |

9 October 2014 - THE United States Defence Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) has confirmed that the US State Department has approved the possible sale of a Lockheed Martin C-130J Super Hercules medium-lift military transport aircraft and six Rolls Royce AE2100D3 turbo-propeller engines to the Government of His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam.

“I can confirm that we are looking to acquire the C-130J through the United States Defence Department and we are looking forward to making further progress in the procurement process,” Dato Paduka Awang Haji Mustappa bin Haji Sirat, Deputy Minister of Defence told the Bulletin yesterday.

“Training will also be included in the package and we are still hoping for further progress,” he said, adding that this was “welcome news”.

Brunei had requested clearance from US authorities to purchase the tactical transport aircraft, along with equipment, spare parts and associated training and logistical support for a total of US$343 million, the US DSCA announced on October 7. All the necessary certification were duly submitted before the US Congress for approval the previous day.

“This proposed sale will contribute to the foreign policy and national security of the United States by helping to strengthen US-Brunei relations, which has been a force for regional stability and economic progress in Southeast Asia,” said the DSCA in a press statement.

“The aircraft will enable Brunei to provide aid and assistance in greater capacities to regional allies and partners in need. Brunei should have no difficulty absorbing this aircraft into its inventory.”

During the Royal Brunei Air Force’s (RBAirF) 48th anniversary celebrations on June 24, its commander, Brigadier General (U) Wardi bin Abdul Latip first confirmed that the RBAirF was looking to acquire the C-130J Super Hercules transport aircraft and that the aircraft would considerably increase the capabilities of the Royal Brunei Armed Forces (RBAF) in humanitarian assistance and disaster relief missions in the region and beyond.

The acquisition of the aircraft, once completed, would mark another milestone for the RBAF as it continues to plot its progress for capability modernisation that has been set out through the Defence White Papers and Updates.

One such milestone was achieved with the delivery of the first of 12 Sikorsky S-70i BlackHawk medium-lift helicopters that are set to replace the ageing Bell 212 workhorses of the RBAirF fleet.

Used primarily by the US military and Royal Air Force of the British Armed Forces, the C-130J Super Hercules is a four-engine turboprop military transport aircraft with new engines, flight deck and other systems developed from the C-130 Hercules.

Variants of the C-130 Hercules are also in service today with the armed forces of Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand.

The possible deployment of this aircraft during the RBAF’s peace monitoring and peacekeeping missions to the southern Philippines province of Mindanao and the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon would allow for greater range, load capacity and increased flexibility in carrying out any number of missions entrusted with the Sultanate’s armed forces.
Borneo Bulletin

***

Leo Kasim
BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

Friday, October 10, 2014 - THE US State Department has approved a possible sale of a Lockheed Martin C-130J aircraft to Brunei along with associated military aircraft equipment and support in a deal worth US$343 million, the US Defense Security Cooperation Agency said.

A press statement released by the agency last Tuesday said that the Brunei government has “requested a sale of one C-130J aircraft, six AE2100D3 turboprop engines (four installed and two spares)’’, as well as other equipment designed for communications and testing.

Spare parts together with technical documentation and personnel training are included.

It added that the agency has “delivered the required certification” to notify US Congress of the possible sale.

The Commander of the Royal Brunei Armed Forces, in a previous report, confirmed with The Brunei Times that the military will be buying “a number” of the C-130J aircraft.

The Brunei Times

***

Rabiatul Kamit
BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

Monday, July 14, 2014 - BRUNEI has confirmed that it will be buying a number of C-130J Super Hercules military transport aircraft from aerospace firm Lockheed Martin.

Pehin Datu Perkerma Jaya Major General Dato Pahlawan Mohd Tawih Abdullah, Commander of the Royal Brunei Armed Forces (RBAF), told The Brunei Times that the military is set to order the American-made aircraft sometime in the future.

“We will be buying the aircraft, but it won’t be a lot,” he said, adding that the planned quantity and date of order will be revealed in due time.

Latest figures estimate the average cost of the C-130J Super Hercules at US$100 to 120 million per unit for international sales.

A total of 300 units have been ordered by 15 nations, including Brunei, of which 250 aircraft have been delivered as of February 2012.

In March, Brunei announced a record defence budget of $719.2 million for 2014 to 2015, up 39 per cent from the previous year. Equivalent to 3.3 per cent of GDP, it is also the biggest percentage since 1990.

Meanwhile, Colonel (U) Hj Hamzah Hj Sahat, Deputy Commander of the Royal Brunei Air Force (RBAirF), said the acquisition of the C-130J Super Hercules will allow them to significantly increase contribution to regional humanitarian aid operations.

He explained that purchasing the Lockheed Martin military transport aircraft was part of the RBAirF’s capability modernisation, which also includes the fleet of 12 Sikorsky S-70i Black Hawks.

Used primarily by the United States military and Royal Air Force (RAF) of the British Armed Forces, the C-130J is a four-engine turboprop military transport aircraft with new engines, flight deck and other systems developed from the C-130 Hercules. Variants of the C-130 Hercules are also in service today with the armed forces of Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand.

The Brunei Times

***

Monday, October 06, 2014

Sultan Brunei: No Leniency With Criminals


Nabilah Haris
BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

Sunday, October 5, 2014 - HIS Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam yesterday called on law enforcers to find the perpetrator(s) of the recent murder of a woman at a recreational park and send a warning that Brunei is not a safe haven for criminals.

In a titah or royal speech delivered on the eve of Hari Raya Aidil Adha last night, the monarch noted that the perpetrator has yet to be found and whether they are local or not, should be brought to justice.

“I urge our security agencies not to stop pursuing the criminal until he is caught and brought to justice, and they must not be negligent in intensifying efforts towards the prevention of crimes and combating criminals,” His Majesty said, adding that the murder shook the entire country.

The Sultan said all security mechanisms must be improved, and agencies dealing with safety must always stay on their toes and not be fooled by evil tactics that threaten peace and safety.

The monarch said the murder is of great concern to him as the crime is deplorable and can taint the country’s record of being a peaceful and safe place. “I am very concerned about this.”

“Brunei will never be lenient with criminals, be they are petty offenders or hardened criminals,” His Majesty added.

The public were also urged to provide cooperation to enforcement agencies.

His Majesty noted that it is the obligation of all to ensure that the Sultanate continues to enjoy the blessings associated with takbir and zikir.

“Our obligation now is to ensure that all these blessings will continue to be enjoyed by our being consistent in preserving such peace, harmony, justice and unity. We must not let them be ruined, not even a little bit,” the Sultan said.

“In Brunei, people can witness many things that are not easily attainable elsewhere. For example, if people wish to see peace, insyaAllah peace is in Brunei. If people wish to see harmony, harmony can also be found in Brunei. If people wish to see justice, they may find it as well.

“In Brunei, there is no person that is wronged. And if unity is to be seen, it is here. In Brunei, there is no contention between the people or its residents,” added the monarch.

“I believe that all this is Allah’s will, it is our blessing to glorify Him with the takbir and zikir,” said His Majesty.

The Sultan went on to say that Muslims should follow in the footsteps of Prophet Ibrahim ‘Alaihissalam who obeyed the order of Allah SWT.

“He was known not only for his faith and obedience to Allah SWT’s orders to sacrifice his son Prophet Ismail ‘Alaihissalam, but he was also a prophet known for his contributions to the peace and prosperity of the ummah (Muslim community),” said the monarch.

The sovereign said the deeds of Prophet Ibrahim is so exceptional that there is no one else who is comparable, adding that his actions continue to be witnessed to this day, not only for the inhabitants of Mekah but all Muslims across the world where they are able to enjoy such peace and prosperity when they are in Mekah.

“Let us take after Prophet Ibrahim ‘Alaihissalam to pray for our country, Brunei Darussalam, so that it may always be filled with peace, well-being and prosperity. May Allah accept our prayers for the Brunei of today, the future and the days to come,” said His Majesty.

Concluding his titah, the monarch conveyed the royal family’s Aidil Adha greetings to the people, and also prayed for the blessings of peace and protection from Allah SWT.

The Brunei Times

***

Sunday, October 05, 2014

Brunei's Economy Grew 2nd Quarter 2014

Koo Jin Shen
BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

Sunday, October 5, 2014 - BRUNEI recorded a 0.8 per cent economic growth in the second quarter compared to the previous year, the Department of Economic Planning and Development (JPKE) said.

The department attributed the gross domestic product increase to the non-oil and gas sector, which grew 2.5 per cent. However, the oil and gas sector decreased by 1.5 per cent in the second quarter of 2014.

JPKE said GDP for Brunei at current prices stood at $4.944 billion.

It noted that the agriculture, forestry and fishery sectors had increased by seven per cent year-on-year. This growth was due to increased production of livestock and poultry and vegetables by 12.6 per cent.

Fruits and other agriculture products had also increased by 4.7 per cent.

JPKE further noted the decline of the industrial sector by 0.9 per cent, noting this was due to negative growth of the mining sector by 3.2 per cent. However, the construction sector had increased by 2.8 per cent followed by manufacturing with 2.1 per cent.

The department stated that the services sector continued to grow with 2.3 per cent. In this sector, trade had increased by 2.9 per cent followed by 2.4 per cent growth of private services.

Government services expanded by 2.3 per cent, transport, communications and finance grew by 2.2 per cent while real estate and ownership of dwellings increased by 1.9 per cent.

By the expenditure approach, GDP growth was due to the increase in exports of goods and services by 2.7 per cent, followed by personal consumption expenditure of 2.3 per cent and government consumption expenditure by 2.1 per cent.

The Brunei Times

***

Wednesday, October 01, 2014

Sultan Brunei and United States President Barack Obama

His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam (2nd R) and Her Majesty Raja Isteri Pengiran Anak Hajah Saleha (2nd L) during a reception hosted by US President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York, on September 23, 2014. Source: The Brunei Times and Infofoto, Information Department

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