Wisma Hainan opens in Kuala Belait

National 2 minutes, 55 seconds


THE new Wisma Hainan building in Kuala Belait was officially opened yesterday amid fanfare as members of the Hainan Association of Kuala Belait celebrated the end of a seven-year wait to see the completion of their symbolic home of 75 years.

Representatives from regional Hainan associations in China, Hong Kong, Indonesia and Malaysia joined the 27 members of the Hainan Association of Kuala Belait.

Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports (MCYS) Yang Berhormat Pehin Orang Kaya Pekerma Laila Diraja Dato Seri Setia Hj Hazair Hj Abdullah was the guest of honour at the opening ceremony and plaque signing.

Among those also present were Zheng Xianglin, Ambassador of the People's Republic of China to Brunei, Pehin Bendahari China Dato Paduka Onn Siew Siong, President of the Chinese Chamber of Commerce, Kuala Belait, Tan Kai Ton, Acting Chairperson President of the Hainan Association of Kuala Belait and Hj Haris Othman, Belait District Officer.

In his opening address, Chairperson of the Hainan Association of Kuala Belait Han Min Yuen reminded the Chinese community to heed the nation's call to elevate the national language and jawi script in their daily lives.

Han said: “I urge all business owners to obey the laws and regulations with the use of Bahasa Melayu and jawi whether at your premises or on all signboards.”

YB Pehin Dato Hj Hazair stated in his speech that Wisma Hainan was a symbol of the success and maturity for the 75-year-old Hainan Association of Kuala Belait and a testament to the Hainan community's unity and cooperation.

“His Majesty's government and the people of Brunei appreciate the contributions of the Chinese community, including the Hainan Associations in Brunei Darussalam, towards economic growth through trade and industry, and in carrying out their social responsibilities for the welfare and prosperity of the local and national community, as well as for their roles in creating national harmony and peace,” said the minister.

“The completion of the building was a start-stop process, slowly progressing… It was important for us to persist and be patient despite some saying that it would never be completed... However, we do apologise for the inconvenience caused by the construction to the citizens of the district,” said a visibly happy Han in an earlier interview with The Brunei Times.

He put the building's delay to commitments by the developer to completing its other projects before taking on the estimated $3 million Wisma Hainan.

Han said the latest nine-storey addition to Kuala Belait's skyline will house the NSEY Hotel and Apartment business as its main client occupying the first six floors. The seventh and eighth floors will serve as the headquarters and activity centre for the association which obtained the land upon which the Wisma Hainan was built 75 years ago during the British rule.

Han, who has been the association's chairperson for a collective period of 28 years, went on to say that the Hainan community in Belaithad much to appreciate living under the rule of His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam.

He said that the tolerance and adaptability of the community have been demonstrated over the years, and reflected through their strong Bruneian identity, adding that they would keep supporting the government’s policies.

“We continue to have constant dialogues about Malay Muslim Monarchy (MIB) with the district authorities and Ministry of Religious Affairs… Regarding Syariah law, the Hainan community fully supports that, but certain segments still have some things they would like to clarify, so we hope to hold future dialogues with the authorities.”

The Brunei Times