Security, agriculture, education likely to top LegCo agenda
BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN
THE first meeting of the fifth session of parliament begins today with the opening ceremony being officiated by His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam.
Among topics that are likely to be on the agenda for this year's session apart from the budget allocation, are the state of national security, agricultural development, religious education and education as a whole as these were the major issues that came into focus and which need attention throughout the year.
Brunei's 1959 Constitution provided for a 33-seat State Legislative Council, or Majlis Mesyuarat Negeri, with 16 directly-elected members, which was disbanded in 1962 by His Majesty's father, Al-Marhum Sultan Haji Omar 'Ali Saifuddien Sa'adul Khairi Waddien, following a state of emergency.
Revived five years ago, the State Legislative Council, has since then been actively involved in the nation's current development and progress. Having demonstrated its significance in bringing together matters raised by the public and the government's policies, the council has seen fruitful results from its meetings over the years.
During a session in 2006, council members requested for more efficient application procedures for business licences, which resulted in simplification of the procedure to apply for certain licences. This among others, have helped to shape the country's current business policies and promoted greater transparency among the government and the private sector dealings opening avenues to the international arena.
The ceremony, which will first hear a review of the minutes of meeting for last year's session, will then begin with the arrival of all council members, prominent state leaders, businessmen and invited guests. From here, the council will then await for the arrival of His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam.
The ceremony begins with a titah by His Majesty followed by the adjournment of the meeting to a later date by Pg Indera Mahkota Pg Anak (Dr) Kemaludin Al-Haj ibni Al-Marhum Pg Bendahara Pg Anak Hj Mohd Yassin.
From here, on the date of the postponement, the national agenda items to be discussed will be disclosed. As representatives of the nation, the nation's leaders and statesmen will hopefully be able to conduct business with more transparency through the State Legislative Council and not only speak for the masses but hear the voices of the people regarding their concerns.
Last year, the public also called for more news and television coverage of the proceedings as this would benefit the people.
The Brunei Times