Lasting peace, stability come from the people
By Azlan Othman

Lasting peace and stability have to come from the people themselves.

This observation was made by His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam, who delivered a Titah at the 3rd Bali Democracy Forum yesterday.

The monarch emphasised that peace and stability is a cherished value that is being promoted in Brunei Darussalam through small and carefully planned steps.

According to His Majesty, the success of peace and stability in the Sultanate can be judged in two ways.

Firstly, on the way they add to the people's capacity to achieve what they want to do with their lives and secondly, how they help the people to take responsibility for their personal decisions and choices.

His Majesty stressed that lasting peace and stability have to come from the people themselves.

His Majesty highlighted that it is the government's duty to help the people gain their capacity to deal with challenges and problems. Thus, by having real targets as set out in the various short- and long-term social programmes, Brunei has seen improvements in a number of areas, including universal healthcare, education, increase in women's opportunities, as well as employment.

The ruler was pleased to see similar approach being taken up by regional and international organisations.

His Majesty also noted that Asean development targets have been set for the next decade and that more focus is being placed by the United Nations in achieving the Millennium Development Goals.

His Majesty stated that one great advantage of being a small country with many limitations is the closeness it develops among the people. His Majesty further stated that Bruneians' constant request is for the government to give them personal empowerment and the means to enjoy modern life well and benefit from its opportunities.

In trying to reach these goals, the Brunei Government has a powerful source of energy, which is far more lasting than oil and gas - the will of its people.

The monarch was attending the Opening Session and General Debate of the 3rd Bali Democracy Forum at Westin Resort Nusa Dua.

The democracy forum was co-chaired by Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and Lee Myung Bak, the President of the Republic of Korea. The theme for the session was "Democracy And The Promotion Of Peace And Stability".

After the General Debate, His Majesty attended an official lunch hosted by the Indonesian President.

On Wednesday evening, His Majesty expressed his satisfaction over the close and friendly relations between Indonesia and the Sultanate during a courtesy call on the Indonesian President.

The monarch also expressed his appreciation to Indonesian nationals who have contributed much towards Brunei's economic development. His Majesty welcomed them to continue working in the Sultanate.

Both leaders also exchanged views on important regional and international matters of mutual interests to both countries. - Borneo Bulletin (10th December 2010)