Chinese business community lauds His Majesty

National 2 minutes, 39 seconds


THE local Chinese business community yesterday expressed continued confidence that the business environment will improve under the leadership of His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah, the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam.

In interviews with The Brunei Times on the last day of the royal family’s open house at Istana Nurul Iman, three prominent Chinese businessmen said they were optimistic about prospects for the country’s business climate and economy.

Speaking on Brunei’s business sector, Lim Chai Huat, a restaurateur, said he hoped the ease of doing business can continue to improve and that Brunei can attract more tourists in the coming years.

“I’ve been living in Brunei for more than 30 years. I think all businessmen need to support the government and vice versa for economic prosperity to be achieved,” he said.

Tan San Leong, another businessman, said Bruneians — especially businessmen — need to be thankful for His Majesty and his wise leadership in continuously maintaining the sultanate’s peace, stability and prosperity.

He said if businesses continue to expand, the economy will improve in 15 to 20 years time.

Fellow businessman Tiah Eng Ng said businessmen should look to grow their businesses here and improve upon them locally so it will keep the economy humming.

“People should also refrain from going across the border to do their shopping. I know a lot of residents go over to Malaysia because of the exchange rate. Perhaps the government can initiate incentives for people to stay here instead,” he said.

The three businessmen also said that being able to greet the royal family was truly unique to Brunei and that they were very lucky to be a part of this culture.

Lim said he has been coming to greet His Majesty and members of the royal family for over 20 years now.

“Whether you are Bruneian or not, whatever race you are and even if you are a foreigner, everyone has the opportunity to meet our king and wish him and the rest of the royal family Selamat Hari Raya. This is a special privilege.”

He said not only did he look forward to this meet and greet every year but that everyone is truly “lucky” to have the chance to do so.

“There is no chance for members of the public to do this with leaders abroad,” he said.

Tan said Hari Raya is a wonderful time that he looks forward to annually to greet the monarch, the royal family and his Malay friends and colleagues.

“Every year is as festive as it gets. When we get the chance to meet His Majesty at the Istana to greet him, we must come and respect him. Same goes for anyone who invites us to their open houses,” he said.

Tiah said he too would always make an effort to show his respect and appreciation for the monarch and his leadership.

“Our Sultan treats us all very well. We are really lucky to be able to come through the gates of the Istana. Everything is so organised... even when we’re waiting in line to enter the hall to meet His Majesty and the royals,” he said.

The Brunei Times