Deputy Sultan attends memorial lecture
Hakim Hayat

HIS Royal Highness Prince Haji Al-Muhtadee Billah, the Deputy Sultan, attended the third instalment of the Sultan Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien Memorial Lecture 2013 that featured a talk by South Korea’s former Prime Minister yesterday.

Accompanying the Deputy Sultan at the event held at the International Convention Centre (ICC) in Berakas were His Royal Highness Prince Haji ‘Abdul Malik and Her Royal Highness Princess Hajah Masna, Ambassador-at-Large at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Organised by the Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Foundation (YSHHB) with support from its strategic partner, Universiti Brunei Darussalam (UBD), the event is one of YSHHB’s academic activities where outstanding experts share their knowledge and views in various fields.

It also serves as a lifelong memorial in remembering and recognising the contributions made by the late Sultan Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien, who was largely touted as ‘the architect of modern Brunei Darussalam’ during his reign.

Co-Chairman of the Memorial Lecture, Dato Paduka Dr Haji Zulkarnain bin Haji Hanafi, who is also Permanent Secretary (Higher Education) at the Ministry of Education and Vice-Chancellor of UBD, in his welcoming remark said, “The late Sultan modernised our system of government, education and social welfare. Al-Marhum started his programme of socio-economic improve­ments for Brunei Darussalam by launching the first Five Year National Development Plan (NDP) in 1953.”

He added that with the 10th NDP already in place with many initiatives, Brunei’s ideal location, political stability and peace together, in addition to the oil and gas industry, “have enabled our population to live relatively comfortable lives”.

“All these factors have resulted in positive social indicators such as high literacy rates and longer life expectancy.”

The speaker, Dr Han Seung-soo, delivered an hour-long talk titled “How Did Korea Grow Fast? Lessons for Developing Economies”.

He shared key factors that contributed to South Korea’s rapid economic transformation over the last few decades.

Dr Han has a distinguished political and diplomatic career spanning over three years having served as Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Finance, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Minister of Industry and Trade and, from 2008 until 2009 as Prime Minister.

The Co-Chairman shared that Dr Han was also a special envoy on climate change for United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon.

Dr Han has played a leading role in overseeing and establishing the framework for economic and financial growth and development in his country.

“Korea’s transition from poverty to riches is an inspirational story of the determination, perseverance and endurance of the Korean people in nation-building.”

The inaugural memorial lecture was first held in 2009. It featured a public figure considered contemporary to the late Sultan Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien – Dato Laila Utama Lee Kuan Yew, Singapore’s Minister-Mentor.

The second memorial lecture was held in 2010 where a local public figure actively involved in Brunei’s administration in the 1950s to the 1970s, Pengiran Setia Negara Pengiran Dr Haji Mohd Yusof bin Pengiran Haji Abdul Rahim, delivered his lecture.

Following the talk, members of the audience had the chance to air their questions to Dr Han.

Around 3,000 invited guests attended the event, comprising Cabinet Ministers, members of the Legislative Council, ambassadors of foreign missions, deputy ministers, permanent secretaries, deputy permanent secretaries, senior government officials, private sector officials and students from higher institutions from around the country. - Borneo Bulletin (30 October 2013)