HM Sultan Brunei: New Year, New Strategies, Better Development



Rabiatul Kamit
BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

Thursday, January 1, 2015

HIS Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah, the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam yesterday called for a concerted effort towards achieving National Vision 2035, following the appointment of leaders to oversee its strategies.

In his New Year’s Eve titah, the monarch said there is little room for procrastination as the deadline for Brunei’s vision nears.

“The next 20 years is not a long time… We must have a more progressive attitude and mindset,” said His Majesty.

Vision 2035 Executive Council

His Majesty has approved the recommendation of the Vision 2035 Executive Council to appoint leaders for strategies that have been identified as well as a number of additional strategies in the country’s vision.

The leaders are ministers and deputy ministers who have been tasked with identifying specific targets, devising and implementing action plans towards the realisation of National Vision 2035.

“All these need to be aligned through the Vision 2035 Executive Council in order to avoid any duplication as well as to derive the optimum impact and effectiveness,” said the monarch, adding that the appointed leaders will be responsible for their respective fields.

Education

His Majesty welcomed the Ministry of Education’s plan to implement medium and long term strategies to ensure full student attendance in the classroom, as well as to derive multiplied efficacy in teaching and learning from lower to subsequent levels.

“We have set a high target of at least 90 per cent of students achieving grades A to C in the Primary School Assessment for 2017,” said the monarch.

The target is hoped to be able to help all students at the primary school level to become more successful in their studies. In doing so, His Majesty said the enforcement of the Compulsory Education Act should be enhanced in a bid to produce a more disciplined and dynamic generation.

Economy

On the economic front, the monarch said the Prime Minister’s Office is preparing a list of key performance indicators (KPIs), which need to be achieved by all economic sectors on the basis of a realistic trajectory to reach economic base under National Vision 2035.

His Majesty said the objective is to boost the growth of gross domestic product with two main focus areas of economic diversification, followed by improving productivity.

In a bid to diversify the economy, the Ministry of Industry and Primary Resources is planning to develop a special body to provide local entrepreneurs with assistance by building the capacity of micro, small and medium enterprises to enable growth and competition in markets locally and abroad. “It is my hope that we will all be able to enjoy and take advance of the opportunities made available after we realise the ASEAN Community by 2015,” said the monarch.

Commenting on productivity, His Majesty observed there is still room for improvement in the private and public sectors. Besides being closely related to capacity building and technology, the monarch said productivity is dependent on the attitude and discipline of all levels in the organisations.

Quality of life

The monarch expressed his wish for the authorities concerned to be swift and efficient in tackling the rising number of criminal cases occurring over the past few years, which include murders, robberies and house break-ins.

“Deal with all these crimes intently and firmly. Prevent crimes from occurring, and if they do occur seek out the perpetrators until they are caught and brought to justice,” said His Majesty.

His Majesty also voiced grave concerns over the health of the people. Citing the findings of a study, the monarch noted many children below the age of five are suffering from obesity. Among the contributing factors were lack of healthy food consumption such as fruits and vegetables.

“If this is true, it is essential for the health authorities and parents to take the necessary measures to overcome this problem,” said His Majesty.

Research also indicated that more than 50 per cent of parents are smokers who are puffing cigarettes at home and inside vehicles. In addition to putting themselves at risk, the monarch said “smokers are exposing their own family members to the awful hazards of tobacco smoke”.

The monarch said such statistics show that the people have not yet reached a satisfactory level in practising a healthy lifestyle.

“Our society still needs couching and guidance, including preventative education for those who disobey the law and religious rulings, such as errant smokers who flout warnings from authorities,” said His Majesty, reminding those concerned to take serious action to purge unlawful habits.

New Year’s Greetings

In ending his titah, His Majesty expressed his heartfelt appreciation to all levels of the civil service and security forces, including those working abroad; as well as the private sector for their sincere efforts in carrying out their respective tasks and responsibilities for the nation’s welfare.

“My family and I wish a Happy New Year 2015 to all citizens and residents of this country. I pray Allah SWT will continue to bless and protect us all and our country,” said His Majesty.

Courtesy of The Brunei Times

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