Put an end to project delays

National 2 minutes, 53 seconds

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

HIS Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam yesterday stressed the need for the government to put an end to delays in development projects.

Speaking at the opening of the sixth session of the State Legislative Council (LegCo), the monarch called for relevant parties to explore and study the causes of such "failures".

"We sometimes encounter projects that are not completed within the time allocated," said His Majesty in a titah delivered at the Dewan Majlis in Berakas. "Why do such failures take place and what are the causes? It is important to thoroughly clarify the factors (behind) such failures," he said.

His Majesty said that it was essential for government officials and private developers to investigate in depth the causes of the delays. Such findings would be highly useful, since not only will the causes of the failure be identified, but also enable them to learn from the mistakes made and not repeat them, His Majesty pointed out.

"We need to design faster procedures to overcome any delay or failure (in order) to meet our targets, because these delays or failures will have negative consequences on the country," he said.

His Majesty said that Brunei is now rapidly developing its economy after weathering the effects of the global financial crisis, and keeping the country's "socio-economy" intact and stable.

The monarch attributed this achievement to prudent and healthy spending, without having to resort to loans. This was coupled with an increase in crude oil demand in the world economy, which His Majesty said has in part helped to ensure that the country's revenue will continue to cover government spending.

In the same regard, His Majesty said that his government has allocated an additional $626.8 million just for this fiscal year (2009/2010) to ensure that the operations of government services and the implementation of development projects were not compromised, aside from the fund's purpose to develop competitive economic activities.

Active, efficient and up-to-date mechanisms for economic management were needed, His Majesty said, particularly as the country was working towards diversifying its economy away from its dependency on oil and gas revenues.

However, in developing the country physically, His Majesty highlighted that spiritual development should not be left behind.

"In the issue of development, we need to understand that complete development does not solely focus on physical infrastructure, but must also place emphasis on the spiritual aspect," His Majesty said. "Both physical and spiritual (aspects) must be developed in balance," he added.

The monarch observed that focusing mainly on physical development was a trend practiced by countries around the world.

"It's true that they may be developed, but within that development, there are those (who are not at ease) because the country is preoccupied in grappling with mayhem, war and quarrels within the country, crime, drugs, corruption and other matters," His Majesty said.

"All this can make the development achieved meaningless. This is why I do not tire of speaking on education. Education is a lifelong investment which cannot be neglected," His Majesty added.

The monarch said that good policies and a capable system were needed to develop spirituality. "Because of this, I have repeatedly given the signal that religious education, from early on, should actually be mandatory and not (as for the past) 50 years, optional," His Majesty said.

The Brunei Times