Investment in IT to power Brunei ahead

His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam lauded the ideals of the Commonwealth and its contribution to overall international development.

His Majesty said this in a message to mark the Commonwealth Day today. The theme this year is "Science, Technology and Society".

"Brunei Darussalam has committed itself to this ideal. It underpins our work to diversify our economy. It is why we are making a considerable investment in information technology (IT). It inspires us in our efforts to provide the highest possible levels of education and health. It forms a major part of our long-term development plan," said His Majesty.

"It is also why we welcome the opportunity that membership of the Commonwealth offers us all to work together in these crucial tasks and to share expertise, resources and experience.

"Brunei Darussalam will continue to do this in the spirit of international goodwill and cooperation that this great organisation has constantly maintained and we send our very best wishes to all our fellow members," added His Majesty.

Earlier in His Majesty's message, the monarch said, "Brunei Darussalam deeply values its membership of the Commonwealth. We admire the richness and diversity of its history. We respect the principles it stands for. We enjoy the friendship and goodwill it arouses among nations from every continent, every faith and every background. We share its common purpose.

"Above all, however, we recognise the Commonwealth's fine contribution to overall international development.

"The relevance of that contribution to the long-term needs of the two billion people it represents is implicit in the theme for Commonwealth Day 2010.

"Science, Technology and Society.

"Worldwide, governments face new and far-reaching challenges in health, education and social security.

"Their people see the power of modern science and the unparalleled influence on their lives of modern technology. They are often deeply anxious about apparent changes to their natural, economic and social environments. There are inevitably times when they fear for the stability of the absolute values that hold their societies together.

"We therefore warmly commend the importance placed by Commonwealth Heads of Government on enabling all people everywhere to learn, understand and appreciate the remarkable advances being made in science and technology.

"We support all efforts being made to ensure that these forces will help to shape an international environment in which the citizens of every member country can look to the future with confidence," His Majesty said. - Borneo Bulletin (8th March 2010)