Opening Ceremony of the First Meeting of the 16th Legislative Council Session

The Opening Ceremony of the First Meeting of the 16th Legislative Council session commenced with full tradition at the Dewan Majlis Building in Jalan Dewan Majlis. This marks the start of deliberations on the Supply Bill for the Financial Year 2020/2021.

Upon arrival, His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam was greeted by Yang Berhormat Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Lela Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Abdul Rahman bin Dato Setia Haji Mohamed Taib, Speaker of the Legislative Council.

Shortly after arriving, His Majesty received the Royal Salute mounted by 108 personnel of the Royal Brunei Police Force led by Superintendent of Police Haji Mahran bin Haji Ahmad, Parade Commanding Officer.

Also present were His Majesty's son and brothers:

His Royal Highness Prince Haji Al-Muhtadee Billah, the Crown Prince and Senior Minister at the Prime Minister's Office as Ex-Officio Member;

His Royal Highness Prince Mohamed Bolkiah;

His Royal Highness Prince Haji Sufri Bolkiah; and

His Royal Highness Prince Haji Jefri Bolkiah.

Established according to Article 23 of the Brunei Darussalam 1959 Constitution and the members appointed according to Article 24, the Legislative Council was dissolved in 1984 and was re-established in 2004. The re-establishment was in conjunction with His Majesty's 58th birthday celebration on the 15th of July 2004.

His Majesty's arrival at Dewan Persidangan, Dewan Majlis was accompanied by the procession bringing in the Ceremonial Mace of the Legislative Council. The Members of the Legislative Council comprised of Cabinet Ministers; Titled Persons; Persons Who Have Achieved Distinction; and District Representatives who symbolise Brunei Darussalam's unity and solidarity. This is also a proof to the world that the country also practices a democratic system with the Bruneian mould through muzakarah and meetings based on the Malay Islamic Monarchy, MIB concept.

The Doa Selamat was recited by Yang Berhormat Pehin Datu Seri Maharaja Dato Paduka Seri Setia Doctor Ustaz Haji Awang Abdul Aziz bin Juned, State Mufti.

Apart from deliberating and approving the national budget, the Legislative Council session is highly significant and symbolic on the importance of the citizen's voice and aspirations, in together thinking and deciding on the nation's direction for mutual interest and well-being. The session among other matters highlights several foci such as the implementation of strategies for sustainable economic growth towards diversifying the country's economy and update all policies, regulations as well as procedures to be transparent and orderly.

Despite the current uncertain economic situation, the country is still able to record an encouraging growth rate as well as implementing several reforms in infrastructure and policies. Throughout 2019, the nation achieved a number of important accomplishments. However, it cannot be complacent and should look far ahead. Hence, the Legislative Council Meeting will be a strategic platform for thinking of and debating matters that are needed by the people and country.

Source: Radio Television Brunei