By Azlan Othman & Waleed PD Mahdini
His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam yesterday announced the much-anticipated cabinet reshuffle and new appointments for another five-year term.
The historic announcement by the monarch saw four deputy ministers ushered in as new cabinet ministers, as four cabinet ministers were relieved of their posts, three incumbent ministers retaining their same portfolios and the first female cabinet appointment as a deputy minister. Three permanent secretaries were also newly appointed as deputy ministers that all took effect as of yesterday, Saturday, May 29.
In a titah that was broadcast nationwide over the state media at 4pm yesterday and aired repeatedly during every scheduled news report, His Majesty first thanked Allah the Al-Mighty for blessing the nation with peace and prosperity.
"The state of nation in peace and prosperity means everything. There is no greater wish than this, as it leads to the path to all welfares," His Majesty remarked in his titah, adding: "For the country, when it is peaceful and prosperous, every development should run smoothly. Coupled with effective government machineries, would further enable the escalation of hope to see through more successes."
The monarch, who retained the cabinet portfolios of Prime Minister, Defence Minister and Finance Minister, pointed out that these do not come about naturally, but require much effort and hard work beforehand.
"For without these efforts and hard work, we would not get anywhere."
His Majesty then asked, "Who is more appropriate to lead this hard work and task?" The answer, the monarch said, is none other than the column of leaders, highlighting that "they are the ones that are the icons that the people look up to and as role models, they must also possess dynamic personalities and characteristics".
This dynamism, His Majesty spelt out, must also encapsulate positive attitudes; the right capabilities and far-sightedness, including remaining committed come rain or shine, to the point that their self worth is not as important, compared to the sacrifices needed for God, King and Country.
"For if we can have leaders such as these, then we would be the most fortunate people, as our citizens and residents could also share in this greatness with them."
His Majesty, attired in an immaculate business suit, then spelt out to his new cabinet: "This is my hope. And this is the motive behind the new cabinet reshuffle and the appointments of some new appointments."
The monarch then duly announced the appointments.
His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam retained his incumbent portfolios as the Prime Minister, Minister of Defence and Minister of Finance.
His Royal Highness Prince Haji al-Muhtadee Billah, the Crown Prince, remained as the Senior Minister at the Prime Minister's Office.
His Royal Highness Prince Mohamed Bolkiah as the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Kerna Dato Seri Setia (Dr) Hj Awg Abu Bakar bin Hj Apong takes on the portfolio as the new Minister of Education. He was formerly the Minister of Communications.
Pehin Orang Kaya Johan Pahlawan Dato Seri Setia Awg Hj Adanan bin Begawan Pehin Siraja Khatib Dato Seri Setia Awg Hj Mohd Yusof is now the Minister of Health. He was the former Minister of Home Affairs.
Pehin Orang Kaya Indera Pahlawan Dato Seri Setia Awg Hj Suyoi bin Hj Osman, who was the former Minister of Health, is now the Minister of Development.
Pehin Orang Kaya Hamzah Pahlawan Dato Seri Setia Awg Hj Abdullah bin Begawan Mudim Dato Paduka Hj Bakar takes on the helm as the new Minister of Communications. He was formerly the Minister of Development.
Meanwhile, Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Utama Dato Seri Setia Awg Hj Yahya bin Begawan Mudim Dato Paduka Hj Bakar retained his position as the Minister of Industry and Primary Resources.
Pehin Orang Kaya Laila Setia Dato Seri Setia Awg Hj Abdul Rahman bin Hj Ibrahim also remained in his post as Second Minister of Finance at the PMO.
Pehin Orang Kaya Pekerma Dewa Dato Seri Setia Lim Jock Seng will continue on as Second Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
Pehin Datu Singamanteri Colonel (Rtd) Dato Seri Paduka Awg Hj Mohammad Yasmin bin Hj Umar takes on the new appointment and post as the Minister of Energy at the PMO. He was formerly Deputy Minister of Defence.
Pengiran Dato Seri Setia Dr Hj Mohammad bin Pg Hj Abd Rahman will be overseeing the roles and responsibilities as the new Minister of Religious Affairs. He was formerly Deputy Minister of Education.
Pehin Udana Khatib Dato Paduka Seri Setia Ustaz Hj Awg Badaruddin bin Pengarah Dato Paduka Hj Othman has been appointed as the new Minister of Home Affairs. He was formerly Deputy Minister of Religious Affairs.
Pehin Orang Kaya Pekerma Laila Diraja Dato Paduka Awg Hj Hazair bin Hj Abdullah carries on his duties as the new Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports. He was the former Deputy Minister of Health.
Meanwhile, Dato Paduka Awg Hj Abd Wahab bin Juned was appointed as the new Deputy Minister at the PMO.
Dato Paduka Awg Hj Mustappha bin Hj Sirat, who was the former Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Defence, now holds the position of Deputy Minister of Defence.
Awg Hj Bahrin bin Abdullah, formerly the Deputy Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Finance, has now been appointed as the new Deputy Minister of Finance.
Dato Seri Setia Awg Hj Eusoff Agaki bin Hj Ismail, formerly the Deputy Minister at the PMO is now the new Deputy Minister of Education.
Dato Paduka Awg Hj Ali bin Hj Apong becomes the new Deputy Minister of Development. He was formerly Permanent Secretary at the PMO.
Pengiran Hj Bahrom bin Pengiran Hj Bahar was appointed as the new Deputy Minister of Religious Affairs. He was formerly Deputy Permanent Secretary at the same ministry.
Pehin Datu Lailaraja Major General (Rtd) Dato Paduka Seri Hj Awg Halbi bin Hj Mohd Yussof has become the new Deputy Minister at the Ministry of Home Affairs. He was recently Brunei's High Commissioner to Malaysia.
Datin Hjh Adina bte Othman becomes the first woman to hold a cabinet post with her appointment as the new Deputy Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports. She was formerly the Director of the Community Development Department (JAPEM).
His Majesty also announced that the posts of the State Mufti and Attorney General to be accredited of ministerial rank effective as of yesterday.
The monarch then continued on with his titah by saying that these appointments are "entrusted" and that "this trust is extremely heavy".
His Majesty reasoned that if these responsibilities can be carried out successfully, then everyone would share in the joy and success. "But, on the other hand, if we fail, then sorrow and regret awaits us."
The appointments, the monarch pointed out, also carry with it duties, obligations and powers and expressed his hope that they would be utilised "honestly with undivided loyalty".
But His Majesty also cautioned: "Don't let there be any who wish to create their own self-agenda for their own limited interests, but assist and support the monarchy to reach the country's hopes and dreams with equality and fairness. Let us prove that fairness has not withered in Brunei but remains and indeed prospers unlike what we can see in other lands."
In concluding his titah, His Majesty expressed his appreciation and gratitude to those no longer appointed, for their service all these years and hoped Allah the Al-Mighty would reward them with happiness.
- Borneo Bulletin
(30th May 2010)