Let the debates begin
BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN
THE much anticipated sixth session of the State Legislative Council (LegCo) meetings began yesterday, when His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam graced the opening with his royal address to LegCo members.
Members of the council filled the hall, colouring the arena with Brunei's traditional baju melayu (Malay attire).
Apart from the two-piece baju melayu, which was represented in an array of colours by its members indicating social ranks, members of the council also wore cotton headgears embellished with gold threads and gilded wraparound sashes (sinjang).
The first meeting began with a review of the minutes of last year's session where Speaker Yang Amat Mulia Pg Indera Mahkota Pg Anak (Dr) Kemaludin Al-Haj, announced the delay of proceedings to await the arrival of His Majesty after approving all the reviewed minutes.
Cabinet ministers, Pengiran Cheterias and appointed statesmen comprising business leaders and district representatives were those in attendance during the review of last year's minutes.
Prior to the arrival of the benevolent ruler, were the arrivals of His Royal Highness Prince Mohamed Bolkiah, His Royal Highness Prince Sufri Bolkiah and His Royal Highness Prince Hj Jefri Bolkiah.
After being accorded with a Royal Salute, His Majesty inspected the guard of honour mounted by Royal Brunei Police Force (RBPF) Supt Pg Zaidi Pg Hj Metali and 108 personnel. The sovereign was then ushered to the main hall by the speaker who greeted His Majesty on arrival.
Gracing the main hall with his presence, His Majesty delivered a titah, where he questioned the reasons for delays in incompleted projects, the need for inclusion of spirituality in national development and for LegCo members to ensure that topics discussed are pertinent to the welfare of the people and the nation.
Following the titah which declared the opening of the session, a thanksgiving prayer was read by State Mufti Pehin Datu Seri Maharaja Dato Paduka Seri Setia Dr Ustaz Hj Abdul Aziz Juned.
The speaker then announced the adjournment of the session to Saturday at 9.30am.
The fifth session of the State Legislative Council meetings ran for less than two weeks last year.
The State Legislative Council was reinstated in 2004, and was formed to draft and pass laws, implement financial restrictions, examine government policies and other matters pertaining to council. Currently, there are 26 State Legislative Council members, after the passing of three former members. — Rachel Thien
The Brunei Times