His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah, Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam delivering his titah at the new year’s eve. Image: Infofoto

His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah, Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam has consented to establish the Manpower Planning and Employment Council (MPEC), which will be under the Prime Minister’s Office.

The monarch announced this in his new year’s titah, adding that the council is meant to provide a more efficient, transparent and effective way to manage unemployment issues — which continued to become one of the sultanate’s main concerns.

He also highlighted the importance of public-private sector cooperation to curb the problem, which may also entail collaborations between industries and educational institutions to assure that local graduates are employable.

At the same time, His Majesty also reminded job-seekers to be too particular about employment in the private sector. Additionally, he also advised local entrepreneurs against getting foreigners to run their businesses.

Besides unemployment, the monarch also touched on several issues and developments – and then expressed his hope for more improvements in some of the areas mentioned.

Specifically mentioning the Monthly Welfare Assistance (BKB), His Majesty said that opportunities are provided to recipients who are able-bodied and able-to-work to means of guidance and support for those wanting to start businesses.

While Brunei is going strong with its rice-planting initiatives, His Majesty wished to see fruit farming to follow suit which may help Brunei to become more self-sustainable, and grant the sultanate a long-term export commodity.

Announcing the Blue Economy Initiative, the monarch said Brunei is currently exploring the vast marine resources to boost the economy and create more jobs.

“In such light, all relevant parties should explore opportunities to develop ‘Green Energy’ programmes, to preserve and protect our environment in the long run. Members of the public are required to work together with government agencies in environmental issues and pollution,” the monarch said.

On international relations, His Majesty said Brunei will continue strengthening her relations with ASEAN partners to achieve mutual economic, social, culture, technical, scientific and administrative stability and development.

Prior to outlining these updates, the monarch stressed the importance of peace and harmony, which will give way for the smooth-sailing of any developmental implementations – urging Brunei and its residents to maintain peace without any distinction.

Wishing the people, a happy new year, His Majesty said sought for Allah SWT’s protection and blessings, so Brunei can preserve its peace and harmony.

The Bruneian | BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

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