New ways of policymaking needed

National 1 minute, 45 seconds


THE permanent secretary at the Ministry of Defence has called on military policymakers to think ahead as the role of militaries is no longer limited to defending the country.

Datin Paduka Hjh Suriyah Hj Umar said militaries have now evolved to include supporting civilian agencies in domestic emergencies as well as other larger roles in nation-building.

She said there is increasing involvement of militaries in humanitarian missions abroad, which require a “whole new dimension of policy thinking and planning”.

The permanent secretary was speaking during the opening of the 11th Executive Development Programme at Sultan Hj Hassanal Bolkiah Institute of Defence and Strategic Studies yesterday.

She further urged participating senior military and government officials to take into account rapid technological advancements and meeting societal expectations when they address policy concerns.

“At times, a different perspective is most needed to produce creative and innovative solutions to difficult policy issues, we need to think ahead.

“This means a comprehensive and multi-disciplinary approach is necessary (and) as policymakers, we are compelled to make choices, one that would be best in serving the interests of the whole organisation and nation,” she added.

When the Executive Development Programme started 10 years ago, Datin Paduka Hjh Suriyah said the programme’s participants were only officers from the Royal Brunei Armed Forces and later expanded to include senior civil servants and foreign military participants.

The diversity of participants, she said, provided an enriching environment in learning different organisational challenges in policy development and decision making.

She also welcomed foreign military participants from Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore and Thailand as well as senior officials from various government agencies.

“I hope all participants will take this opportunity to widen their scope and breadth of knowledge. The next three months would be the time for you to indulge in learning and challenge one another to think and explore opportunities for a broader approach to policy development,” she said.

Collaborating with the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy of the National University of Singapore, the programme was designed and developed to focus on public policy and management.

The Brunei Times