Bruneians share new year resolutions

National 4 minutes, 15 seconds


THE year 2013 sees a number of major events and happenings in the Sultanate, such as hosting the ASEAN Summits and the implementation of Syariah Law among others.

However, residents in the country wished for more changes and improvements that will not only build up the country, but also make it a better place for the community.

Welcoming the Year 2014, The Brunei Times interviewed the public on their observations, and what they think Brunei could improve on for the year ahead.

“For the new year, I hope to see Bruneians take ownership of their own health and as a consequence, their own lives. Despite socio-economic limitations, there are steps that can be taken to better their circumstances. And Brunei is in desperate need for more qualified health professionals – not just doctors, but also allied health professionals who are committed to the betterment of our patients,” said Dr Gillian Foo, a doctor with the Raja Isteri Pg Anak Saleha (RIPAS) Hospital.

She also hopes to see a change in the attitude and mindset of people working in the government sector.

“We are providing a service to the public; they do not owe us anything. So service with a smile and pleasant attitude would be most appreciated,” she advised.

Also concerned about health matters was Noraarney Abdullah who works in a private firm in the capital.

“Personally, I wish to see the proposed Brunei Cancer Centre building to be completed in 2014. With the building completed, we can offer extensive medical treatments locally. At the moment, cancer patients needing to undergo radiotherapy or other advanced medical treatments need to travel to Singapore. This is very inconvenient to the families of the patients, especially for those with young children, as both patient and spouse need to leave their family in Brunei while undergoing treatment in Singapore,” she said.

Offering all this medical treatments locally will also reduce the financial burdens of the Ministry of Health as sending patients overseas are very costly, she added.

Meanwhile, a dance teacher who declined to be named suggested that more physical activities should be increased in the country to curb obesity among children.

“Schools should increase time spent on compulsory physical education classes and other physical activities per week. I think more government control over imported junk food and fizzy drinks would help children decrease their intake as well, hence promoting a healthier community,” she said.

Reviving the capital to attract people on its historical features is the resolution Zulwaqar Zulzali hoped Brunei would achieve.

“Revive Bandar in a way that it can be an attraction rather than centralising it only in Gadong area. Bandar has more historical features than most of the places in Brunei,” said the civil servant.

Speaking of awareness, he added that more should be in placed with the implementation of the Syariah Law.

“The Syariah Law is one way to decrease or better yet to stop the crime rate and social problems. But it would be better to explain the law to the public on how it works because there are still people who can’t accept the changes because they are only exposed to the digital media influences which are most of the time inaccurate,” he said.

Rizan Latif, president of Beach Bunch Brunei said that all walks of life in the country should play a part in making Brunei a more civilised society in terms of cleanliness and conservation of energy, water as well as food.

“Schools, families and the community should work together with the government and not just rely on them (government) as it won’t solve the issues. We live in a free society and most of the things are taken for granted,” he said.

Meanwhile, business owner, Warren Teo looks forward to easier, faster and friendlier application process on business related matters.

This would help not only current business who wants to expand, but for new businesses to spur without difficulty, he commented.

Encouraging “internal tourism” in the Sultanate will help boost the country’s economy, said another business owner.

“I hope I can do more business to serve our country and to give more opportunity to other people in terms of employment as well as to improve tourism and encourage internal tourism. Instead of spending in other countries, we should support our own. To preserve existing attraction and create new one to attract tourist,” said Ho Fu Wan, owner of Berry Wan Hot Pot.

To further attract tourist to re-visit Brunei, customer service especially in coffee shops and restaurants should be strongly looked into.

A Malaysian working as a freelance videographer who declined to be named said he encountered bad customer service in a coffee shop located in the capital.

“I frequent the café because I stay near it. Staff there hardly smile and I don’t feel welcomed. At times they will forget my order. Moreover, they took time to sing aloud as if there weren’t any customers. It is ok for me, but if tourist come to visit, it won’t be a nice experience to bring back home,” he said.

The Brunei Times