A New Leg Co!

Today is the start of the Legislative Council since it reconvened in 2004. I won't say much but look forward to it. I wrote about it last year which you read here and I also wrote about it in 2006 which you can read here.

The very first Council meeting took place on the 29th June 1907 with the following members in attendance i.e. the Sultan Muhammad Jemalul Alam, the Acting Resident H Chevallier, the Pengiran Bendahara Pengiran Muhammad bin Pengiran Tajuddin, the Pengiran Pemancha, the Pengiran Shahbandar bin Pengiran Anak Ismail, the Pengiran K[erm]aindera bin Pengiran Suma, Dato Perdana Menteri H. Abdul Rahman bin H. Othman, Jawatan Abubakar, and the acting assistant resident JC Sugars. The two absentees on the day were Tuan Imam bin Jambul and Orangkaya Laksamana bin H. Nuruddin. The Brunei State Council, known as Majlis Mesyuarat Negeri in Malay, functioned for little more than half a century from 1907 until the promulgation of the Brunei Constitution on 29 September 1959. During this period Brunei underwent a significant makeover from being a traditional into a neo-traditional Sultanate.

This year I might not be able to sit through the entire debates as I managed to do last year. Last year, at this time of the year, we were already preparing our Minister for any question that may arise. This year, I am working for a different Minister and his team had already prepared for him. Anyway I look forward to the debates and I will try to write about them.

Today's will be the formal part. His Majesty giving a speech and the members if given time may be debating it later in the afternoon, otherwise it be tomorrow. Then the Minister of Finance II will be giving his budget speech and the motion for it to be debated. After that the council will go into committee mode. In committee mode, the members can ask any question, unlike the formal mode of only one question each. Unfortunately the committee sessions are not televised. The interesting questions are during this session.

[Photo Credit: I don't know who owns the photo but it is one which I like, Thanks!]


Hi Mr. BR

I'm sorry I'm going to ask you a silly question.
How can we, mere commoners, who have no connections whatsoever with any of the LegCo members, communicate our worries and contribute our ideas?
Correct me if I'm wrong, the 'left wing' was supposed to represent the 'people', while the 'right wing', the government, No?
But I have never come across any direct public consultation between the 'left wing' and the people. Is there?
So how do members of the Leg Co, can possibly know what ails the people and can make better judgements on what grave issues to raise (rather than just 'any' issue). Plus I'm sure members will also benefit from suggestions.

I'm sorry, but I am really puzzled.
Anonymous said…
I'm looking forward to your post on the upcoming LegCo debate. When I heard about a new session I immediately thought about your site because I remember reading your previous posts on LegCo. It's a shame that not a lot of people, especially the young ones, care about the Leg Co. I even knew someone who didn't realize that we have a parliamentary body now!

Now I know there are a lot of critics out there who complain about how it lacks elected members or how they debate about mundane issues. I think that the Leg Co will eventually grow more efficient, it just takes time that's all.

And I also think it will be a good idea if the public can attend the session. I understand if there is a fear of mass gathering but at least open it to UBD/UNISSA students for example. Anything that will raise awareness of Leg Co to the public.
Anonymous said…
Hi Mr BR,

I just hope that with the opulence and splendor of the new building comes with it real substantive issues and national strategies formulated and implemented. My question tho is, is it really truly representative of the voice of the people when none of them can actually truly having the "peoples mandate"? even Kuwait's Majlis has elected reps in it!

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