By Azlan Othman
His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam underscored the need for the nation to attain a higher self-sufficiency level in agriculture than presently which the monarch hopes to achieve in this new Islamic calendar year 1430 Hijrah and to upgrade living standards to achieve zero poverty.
In delivering his titah which was broadcast nationwide last night, His Majesty also hopes that Muslims will get a good grip on their affairs to achieve the best result in life.
"I hope that for 1430 Hijrah, we could move faster to achieve the nation's objective like in the field of agriculture where we should upgrade our self-sufficiency status to a higher level than presently, consistent with the needs and growth.
"We will continue to move to enhance our living standards, in accordance to the aspiration to achieve zero poverty level.
"In the religious field, when conditions are encouraging, poverty among Muslims should not be difficult to overcome," the Sultan said.
His Majesty added that "today we talk about Hijrah and if the Muslim ummah succeeds in moving away from poverty, then this Hijrah would be historic for them. Muslims should be right in its grip to gain the best result in life.
"If the grip is not right, we will not be able to produce the best result, even though our intention is good. This is what I hope for, especially the leaders in all the government agencies as they are the captains who steer the ship to the correct path."
Touching on the government machinery, the benevolent ruler called on the leaders and the people under them to be aware of the current development.
"In line with the spirit of Hijrah, all people, especially leaders and their subordinates, should be more alert to the current development, be it relating to their daily tasks or a much bigger responsibility. If there are matters that need to be addressed promptly, why should not it be done?"
His Majesty said, so too if there is an opportunity to make changes, which if carried-out, would bring more benefits.
"This is the way to usher in the new year of Hijrah. Not only did we nurture a resolution, but more importantly, to implement such a resolution. If we saw devastation last year, we should see improvement this year.
"It is not appropriate for us to delay changes, particularly if there is a pressing need to do so. Losses would be incurred if someone resists change, more so if such changes help to rectify wrongs and mistakes, which is mandatory to correct them it as soon as possible. This can be considered as becoming aware of development, which is not to let mistakes continue.
"This attitude is needed in a developing society, which we are part of. This is where such a resolution should begin. We hope that Allah would bless our aspiration and make it a reality."
His Majesty also expressed his gratitude to Allah for us to enter the new Islamic year 1430 Hijrah, that we usher in the new Islamic calendar with a 'Doa' for our livelihood to be blessed in all fields and for the people to gain happiness and receive protection from the Al-Mighty. "We develop for prosperity and at the same time, we build up self-confidence to be a loyal and pious individual. Prosperity is achieved by utilising the natural resources, endowed by Allah, from which we acquire oil and gas and obtain food.
- Borneo Bulletin
(29th Dec 2008)