The Ministry of Energy, Manpower and Industry (MEMI) held a Dialogue Session (Sesi Muzakarah) session with Members of the Legislative Council (LegCo) on Thursday, 10th January 2019 at West Wing Level 1 Meeting Room, Prime Minister’s Office. The delegation consisting of 17 Legislative Council Members was headed by Yang Berhormat Pg Haji Ali bin Pg Maon, Penghulu Mukim Berakas Zon 1, Brunei-Muara.
The dialogue session marked the second segment of the Ministry’s two-day engagement to enhance information-sharing on the various initiatives under the Ministry with Legislative Council Members for cooperation towards national development. The session had been preceded by visits to various sites and centres under the Ministry’s purview on the previous day.
The Ministry has placed its sights on enhancing existing initiatives while also addressing the challenges of the future in its three (3) major portfolios – energy, manpower and industry. In the session chaired by Yang Berhormat Dato Seri Setia Dr Awang Haji Mat Suny bin Haji Mohd Hussein, Minister of Energy, Manpower and Industry, Yang Berhormat Dato indicated that while economic recovery has been forecasted for the coming year, the Ministry would not rest on its laurels. Emphasis in the coming year will be placed on strengthening the oil and gas sector, while also driving industrial development. These efforts are anticipated to contribute to job creation and local employment opportunities, to address the 9.3% unemployment rate reported recently under the Labour Force Survey 2017 published by the Department of Economic Planning and Development, Ministry of Finance and Economy.
Yang Berhormat Dato added that to support systematic succession planning of Bruneians in the oil and gas industry, the Bruneianisation Directive for the oil and gas sector had been released in June 2018. The expansion of the Directive to other sectors is currently planned for 2019. This is in line with His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan Negara Brunei Darussalam’s Titah and vision for locals to attain positions at all levels, up to the managerial level and beyond.
The Ministry is currently fortifying its plans to support the above, which are currently planned for roll out in 2019. In addition, Yang Berhormat Dato shared the roles of Safety, Health and Environment National Authority (SHENA) to oversee national health, safety and environment (HSE), and the Electricity Authority of Negara Brunei Darussalam to ensure the safety of supply, installation and usage of electricity. Yang Berhormat Pg Haji Ali bin Pg Maon, on behalf of the Legislative Council Members, expressed his hope that the Ministry is able to fulfill its aspirations, particular towards strengthening and diversifying the economy.
Presentations on each portfolio were delivered by Yang Mulia Haji Azhar bin Haji Yahya, Permanent Secretary (Energy); Yang Mulia Haji Zolkiflee bin Haji Abdul Karim, Permanent Secretary (Manpower) and Yang Mulia Hajah Tutiaty binti Haji Abdul Wahab, Acting Permanent Secretary (Industry). This was followed by an open discussion about how could the Ministry and Legislative Council Members realise the Ministry’s plans towards Wawasan 2035 and address unemployment. Also present were Javed Ahmad, CEO of Darussalam Enterprise (DARe); and officials from the Ministry, the Department of Electrical Services, Electricity Authority of Negara Brunei Darussalam, DARe and SHENA.
Among the Ministry’s top priorities to address unemployment are job creation opportunities; reskilling and upskilling as part of lifelong learning (particularly in areas matching industrial needs) for workers at all level; fair and safe working conditions; and systematic succession planning across all sectors. These are also supported by the Local Business Development Directives, which obligate companies to acquire a minimum percentage of their goods and services from local companies, and also employ a minimum percentage of locals, depending on work scope.
Other discussions centred on the critical importance of upholding the principles of Melayu Islam Beraja (MIB) and practicing them; effective use of programmes and facilities to support the development of industry-ready local workers at all levels, including graduate and TVET; various Government services and processes; environmental protection; and the development of local products and services, among others.
The Ministry’s vision for a diverse and sustainable economy led by Bruneians for the prosperity of the nation is underpinned by the whole-of-nation approach, which calls for the need for cohesion and support between the Ministry, Government agencies, private sector, the public and all other stakeholders.
Yang Berhormat Dato Seri Setia Dr. Awang Haji Mat Suny bin Haji Mohd Hussein, Minister of Energy, Manpower and Industry delivering his opening remarks during the Muzakarah Session between the Ministry and the Legislative Council Members
Yang Berhormat Pg Hj Ali bin Pg Maon, Penghulu Mukim Berakas Zone 1, Brunei-Muara delivering his closing remarks
Legislative Council Members with Yang Berhormat Dato Seri Setia Dr. Awg Haji Mat Suny bin Haji Mohd Hussein, Ministry of Energy, Manpower and Industry; Permanent Secretaries and Deputy Permanent Secretaries from the Ministry of Energy, Manpower and Industry