His Majesty observes development and progress in Belait District
By Liza Mohd & Aziz Idris

His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam yesterday morning toured some of the houses of successful recipients and village leaders and viewed the progress and developments of interest in the Belait District during the presentation of house keys and land lots to 65 recipients under the National Housing Schemes for the district.

After the awarding of house keys and land lots at Liang Lumut Recreational Club, the ruler proceeded to the residence of Kampong Lumut II village leader, Awg Abd Rahman bin Hashim and also to the residence of Penghulu Mukim Liang, Awg Haji Abd Hamid bin Haji Mumin.

Showing his concern for the welfare of the less fortunate, the benevolent ruler also viewed a project meant to assist single mothers in the Mukim Liang at Balai Raya Kampong Lumut 1.

The project has been active since two years with the first activity involving single mothers making traditional dry foods such as 'kuih sapit' and 'baulu'. The business activity involves the workforce of only five single mothers and they are voluntarily assisted by the project's committee members.

At the beginning, the capital is funded by all Mukim Consultative Council members and Village Consultative Council members and 50 per cent of proceeds from the sale of the dry food is allocated to single mothers who had fully taken part in the programme and are dedicated with the work.

Apart from housing, the government of His Majesty has also made a huge budget allocation in the interest of providing access to clean water for the population as well as the construction of a B$95 million Sungai Liang water treatment plant under the Eighth National Development Plant to ensure sufficient supply of clean water to residents in and around areas of Sungai Liang and Labi as well as the Tutong District, Seria and Kuala Belait during any emergencies.

During yesterday's presentation, His Majesty took the opportunity to have a closer look at the facilities made available at the new treatment plant which had begun operation from July last year.

His Majesty toured the control room, administration building and also laboratory where the ruler was briefed on how water is treated at the plant.

The plant has the capability to supply 13 million litres of clean water per day to Lumut, 18 million litres to Sungai Liang and five million litres to Labi. Areas in Sungai Liang in the past have experienced disruptions to water supply but since the operation of the water treatment plant began, supply to the areas has significantly improved.

In addition to that, the new plant can further increase its output from 36 million litres to 80 million litres per day. It is currently supplying clean water to Brunei Methanol Company (BMC) at the Sungai Liang Industrial Park.

Later, His Majesty consented to visit the homes of Awg Latip bin Bidin and Awang Haji Ahmad Kabri bin Haji Asnawai, who have been awarded Deluxe and Standard type houses respectively.

His Majesty also visited homes of land lot recipients, Awg Ibrahim bin Haji Mat Daud and Dayang Hajah Jaitun binte Haji Hashim and also to the houses of recipients Awg Azman bin Duraman and Dyg Saudah binte Daro who were both awarded Deluxe and Standard type housing respectively.

Later the monarch toured Sekolah Arab Belait, which shares the same building with Sungai Taring religious school. The newly established Arabic school began operation in January 2005. There are currently 56 students comprising 40 students from Year Five and 16 students from Year Six who are currently pursuing their studies at the religious school in Kampong Lumut. .

The monarch also consented to visit the home of Pekan Seria village leader Awg Haji Ibrahim bin Idrus at Jalan Nakhoda Manis, Seria.

Another significant project still in progress in the district is the $9 million Seria flood mitigation project at G14, Jalan Tengah Seria.

The ruler also headed to the Sungai Seria water pump station to have a closer look at the project. It is meant to reduce flooding in Seria. The station is constructed as part of Phase One of the B$11 million Seria Flood mitigation project, implemented by the Department of Drainage and Sewerage, Public Works Department, which is scheduled for completion on Feb 26 this year.

The Sungai Seria water pump station was His Majesty's last stop. - Borneo Bulletin (20th January 2010)