HM Sultan Brunei's Gift to Differently Abled Citizens

Sultan’s New Year gift for differently abled

January 1, 2018

| Azlan Othman |

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 has consented for the amendment of the Act and Regulations for Pension and Allowance for People with Different Abilities (OKU), with effect from January 1, 2018.

In the New Year titah for 2018 last night, His Majesty said, “We are aware that every individual has different capabilities and advantages. In this context, regarding the welfare of People with Different Abilities. I have consented for the amendment of the Act and Regulations for Pension and Allowance for People with Different Abilities.

“Through this amendment, OKU allowances will also be distributed to eligible recipients aged below 15 at certain rates, and this amendment will take effect starting January 1, 2018.

“Through this amendment, it is hoped that the welfare of the allowance recipients should be more secure.”

His Majesty further said, “We are grateful to Allah the Almighty that the nation was able to accomplish a considerable part of the National Development Programme in 2017.

“We were also fortunate to have enjoyed the momentous occasion of the Golden Jubilee celebrations of my Accession to the Throne.

“I sincerely express my gratitude and appreciation to all parties, whether directly or indirectly involved in the Golden Jubilee celebrations, and all of the related events.

“The joyous occasion was also enjoyed by all levels of society and foreign visitors, which reflects the harmonious lifestyle of living among communities in this country.

“This must be maintained, if peace and prosperity is to endure for generations to come.

“Year by year, we are getting closer towards achieving our goals for the National Vision 2035. With that drawing ever so close, our responsibility increases in meeting our goal as a developed nation.

“To support that vision, we need the close cooperation of the government, private sector and the public as a whole.

“These close associations will make it easy for businesses and entrepreneurship to thrive, and the nation more attractive to foreign investors.

“If such an environment can be maintained, then it is an asset to the nation.”

The monarch then summed up some of the main highlights of 2017, beginning with the field of education. “The nation deserves to be proud of Universiti Teknologi Brunei (UTB), which attained a four-star rating in the overall QS assessment; with a Leadership and Lifelong Centre in operations at Universiti Islam Sultan Sharif Ali (UNISSA); and with the recent opening of the UBD-FPT Global Centre in the Socialist Republic of Vietnam. All of these demonstrate excellence.

“In terms of socio-economy, the government has provided various facilities in assisting micro, small and medium sized entrepreneurs (MSMEs) to advance further into the global market. This includes the establishment of SMEs Bank which will start its operations early this year.

“On the international arena, we are continuing to promote and nurture close ties with friendly nations, while at the same time contributing humanitarian assistance to those in need, in accordance with our capabilities. In this context, I am pleased to note the initiative and response from the public in rendering humanitarian aid to the Rohingya community and others in need of assistance.

“More recently, Brunei was among the 57 member nations of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) which voiced support for a solution towards achieving an independent state of Palestine, with East Jerusalem as its capital.

“I also emphasised, during the Extraordinary OIC Summit in Istanbul, that unity and solidarity of the Muslim Ummah is more pertinent now than ever. Our resolve is firm, in order to see a world full of justice, and an end to torture as a result of oppressions and aggressions.”

His Majesty concluded the titah, saying, “I wish to extend my appreciation to public servants, members of the private sector and security personnel for their hard work and determination in performing their duties throughout 2017.

“My family and I also wish a Happy New Year 2018 to all citizens and residents, including those working abroad, and we pray for Allah the Almighty to bless the nation.”

Courtesy of Borneo Bulletin


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