Royal call to make Brunei roads safer
By Hakim Hayat

His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam noted the public concern over the worrying number of road fatalities of late and called on law enforcers, especially the Royal Brunei Police Force, to augment efforts to keep Brunei Darussalam roads safer.

In a titah delivered on the eve of the 28th National Day celebration last night, His Majesty said, "More worrying is to know that most of the fatalities involve our youths and the reasons behind the accidents are carelessness, lack of courtesy, speeding and not obeying traffic rules and regulations."

His Majesty said that if these were accurate reasons of the cause of these fatalities, then solutions must be found based on the strong laws to prevent such things from happening.

However, His Majesty pointed out that these laws are already in place, such as compulsory use of safety belt and use of mobile phone while driving being illegal.

Therefore, His Majesty said, the solution is enforcement of these existing laws and questioned the adequacy of enforcing these laws by the enforcement agencies, especially the Royal Brunei Police Force.

His Majesty asked the relevant enforcement agencies, especially the Royal Brunei Police Force, to increase their vigilance and presence in enforcing the law.

Another crucial aspect of prevention, His Majesty pointed out, was to ensure that our roads are free from imperfections and follow high-grade safety standards.

His Majesty also said that all these preventive measures will only be effective if they are practised through consistent awareness and rigid enforcement.

Touching on the economic and development aspect, His Majesty said as we are going into the fiscal year of 2012/2013 and embarking on the 10th National Development Plan (NDP), the performance of development programmes will surely meet with various challenges, especially the challenges of limited capacity. "But this does not mean we are incapable," His Majesty added.

In our endeavour to reach our Vision 2035 target, His Majesty said the country needs to be more responsive and active in meeting any targets behind schedule or those that have been halted have to be speeded up and "those that have swayed from the plan must be directed back to their course", His Majesty said.

His Majesty added that whatever is being carried out, proper planning is essential and target reach must also be evaluated in an objective manner.

As an integral part of government administration, the Civil Service sector, His Majesty said also plays a crucial role to continue generate new ideas, in increasing capacity and in bridging non-conventional methods to leverage on the country's needs, which is increasingly getting complex and challenging in the 21st Century.

"However, it does not constitute that anything innovative does not have its disadvantages. Sometimes, it is only impressive in theory but not practically," His Majesty said.

His Majesty said productivity and efficiency are indeed our priorities but they must be carried out in such a way that they will not be burdened with unnecessary things. "New methods can be undertaken but it must not connote a bad and burdening characteristic to it," His Majesty added.

According to His Majesty, new methods can be tested but they must not become a burden. The monarch said methods that are accommodative and reasonable should be prioritised.

Keeping in mind that the Civil Service employees come from different areas and with different qualifications, His Majesty justified that different methods should be utilised in different areas of the Civil Service sector.

His Majesty also touched on enhancing the country's diplomatic relations with its allies. "Our diplomatic ties with friendly nations are to be nurtured and maintained." His Majesty believes that these relationships are the core of the nation's political and economic stability as well as security.

His Majesty is keen to ensure that this is the country's continuous practice based on mutual respect.

Earlier in the titah, His Majesty said our orientation in development planning should take a global approach. "Because we don't just look at the notion of the local way of life, we also must learn a lesson from events and happenings in this world without boundaries."

However, His Majesty underscored that in all aspects, we must strengthen our self-identities as the country's citizens that are pious and courteous who maintain values and customs.

In developing the nation, His Majesty said that there is no need for the nation to be so hasty in keeping up with the tide of time but what is more important, according to the ruler is the need to be wise and patriotic in defending and practising our invaluable heritage such as good morals, national language and others because all these elements are evidential of our very existence.

In closing his titah, the monarch extended his gratitude to all the participants and volunteers as well as committee members who have joined hands to make the 28th National Day celebration a success.

His Majesty also extended his gratitude to all the citizens, residents and leaders involved, including all civil servants, security forces as well as those in the private sector for their contribution towards the nation's security and development. - Borneo Bulletin (23rd February 2012)