Symbol of pride, consensus

, National 2 minutes, 20 seconds

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

BRUNEI marked another historic moment yesterday after His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam opened the new State Legislative Council building, named Dewan Majlis at Jalan Kebangsaan.

"This building has become a symbol of pride and consensus among government, the citizens and residents in fulfilling their responsibilities in a formal and more systematic way," His Majesty said in his titah.

His Majesty said that this building is where State Legislative Council members can contribute their ideas for the development of the country.

Estimated at a cost of $70 million on a 26-acre plot of land, the Dewan Majlis's design concept symbolises order, strength, stability, and incorporated the Greeks and Rome's classical buildings which also fits in with Brunei's Malay, religious and cultural traits.

The arrival of His Majesty was greeted with the Royal Salute before inspecting the guard of honour in front of the majestic new building.

His Majesty then consented to sign the plaque to mark the official opening of new State Legislative Council building, which was completed last year.

The monarch was then ushered towards the main chamber to deliver his titahwhich stressed on the importance of agriculture in Brunei.

Prior to the arrival of His Majesty, the State Legislative Council speaker, Pengiran Indera Mahkota Pengiran Anak (Dr) Kemaludin Al-Haj ibni Al-Marhum Pengiran Bendahara Pengiran Anak Haji Mohd Yassin, validated the minutes from the first session of the third meeting last year at the International Convention Centre.

The speaker then announced the delay of the proceedings until the arrival of His Majesty to start the fourth meeting, since the reopening of the State Legislative Council in 2005.

Also present at the opening of the State Legislative Council meeting was His Royal Highness Prince Hj Al-Muhtadee Billah, the Crown Prince and Senior Minister at the Prime Minister's Office, His Royal Highness Prince Mohamed Bolkiah, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, and His Royal Highness Prince Hj Sufri Bolkiah.

His Majesty had a short rest before being ushered into the main chamber, accompanied with the cokmar or the Royal Mace - a sterling silver crafted sceptre which represents a symbol of authority.

Currently, there are 28 State Legislative Council members, after the late Major Hj Abu Bakar Hj Ibrahim, one of the Brunei-Muara District representatives, passed away last year.

The State Legislative Council was formed to draft and pass laws, implement financial restrictions, examine government policies and other matters related to council.

The Dewan Majlis, whose construction works commenced in March 2005, held its first official event with a key handing over ceremony at its premises by the Minister of Development Pehin Orang Kaya Hamzah Pahlawan Dato Seri Setia Hj Abdullah Begawan Mudim Dato Paduka Hj Bakar who presented the keys to Legislative Council Speaker Pg Indera Mahkota Pg Anak (Dr) Kemaludin Al-Haj.

The Brunei Times