Civil servants feted for their excellence
Khal Baharulalam

SMILES of gratitude were shared among civil servants of the government of His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam at yesterday’s celebration marking the Civil Service Day at the International Convention Centre (ICC) in Berakas.

Hundreds of civil servants walked out of the ceremony in high spirits having had their years of valuable service proudly celebrated with the graceful attendance of His Majesty the Sultan and members of the royal family.

The Excellent Civil Service Awards (ACPA), which was incorporated into yesterday’s joyous occasion, saw over a dozen organisations feted in two categories – 12 of which under the Project Sheet category and three under the Proposal Sheet category.

However, three of the Project Sheet entrants displayed outstanding developments and achievements ultimately earning each organisation/department Gold, Silver and Bronze awards.

The Survey Department at the Ministry of Development bagged the Gold Excellent Civil Service Award for their Project Sheet entitled ‘Survey Spatial Data Infrastructure’, earning them a trophy, a cash prize of $8,000 and certificates of appreciation.

Speaking to the Bulletin on the project’s achievement, Haji Ali Bakar bin Hj Kasim from the Survey Department said it centres on speeding up the process of survey data collection and analysis.

“By using the Internet to make certain information immediately available online, government departments and members of the public alike will have the most convenient access towards these data, which bodes well for today’s innovative initiatives in providing for the development of the nation’s various departments and ministries,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Silver Excellent Civil Service Award went to the Psychiatric Department of the Ministry of Health at the Raja Isteri Pengiran Anak Saleha (RIPAS) Hospital for their ‘Establishment of a supervised residence for chronic psychiatric patients bearing rehabilitation programmes in enhancing care for acute psychiatric patients’.

The team of 16 went home with a trophy, a cash prize of $5,000 and certificates of appreciation.

In an interview with the Bulletin, Dr Hilda Ho of the RIPAS Psychiatric Department extended her gratitude for the development of psychiatric healthcare in the Sultanate.

Speaking more on the project, she shared that since its commencement in 2012, the project is aimed at instilling a sense of normalcy into the lives of the psychiatric patients, adding that “the supervised residence has the facilities necessary in providing for the needs of the patients”.

Given the common conception that psychiatric issues go unnoticed in the country due to the likeness of these issues being difficult to diagnose, Dr Hilda Ho said there has been an increase of individuals coming forth into their department, willing to address their issues. This ultimately highlights the progress that the RIPAS Psychiatric Department has made over the past decades.

Survey Department at the Ministry of Development – the Gold winners of the ACPA. – AZROL AZMI

The Minister of Health, Pehin Orang Kaya Johan Pahlawan Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Adanan bin Begawan Pehin Siraja Khatib Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Mohd Yusof, shared the same sentiments and said, “It is a matter of teamwork in terms of identifying the issues in the Psychiatric Department.”

“We should avoid the stigma of psychiatric issues and that is where community outreach programmes come into play,” added the minister. “Fortunately, there has been an increase in awareness on the need to address these issues – and these efforts have been successful thus far.”

The Bronze award went to the Meteorology Department of the Ministry of Communications for the project entitled ‘Brunei WX Application’ – a project utilising modern-day technology that bodes well for today’s tech-savvy community to deliver real-time weather forecasts. The team won a trophy, a cash prize of $3,000 and certificates of appreciation.

The Acting Director at the Meteorology Department, Muhamad Husaini Aji, explained that the project was developed based on the needs of the 21st century society.

The two-year-old project was initiated as a means to deliver weather forecasts to the community at their most convenience.

“Given the mass-utilisation of technology in today’s modern society and the nation’s call towards using innovative approaches in providing for national development, our team has concluded that a mobile application would best benefit both our department and our community, particularly in terms of accessibility,” he said.

The acting director also shared that the official weather application has been made available on Mobile Application Markets – Apple Store and the Android Market – and will continuously be updated and developed in accordance with the pace of the smart society. - Borneo Bulletin (28 November 2014)