THE first day of the 10th Legislative Council (LegCo) Session began yesterday morning at the State LegCo Building at Jalan Dewan Majlis following a stately opening ceremony graced by His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam.
The opening ceremony began as LegCo members, dressed in full traditional stately attire, arrived earlier at the State Legislative Council Building to await the arrival of His Majesty and members of the royal family.
Before the arrival of the members of the royal family, 108 uniformed personnel from the Royal Brunei Police Force (RBPF) led by its marching band, assembled in front of the LegCo building to greet the arrival of the LegCo Speaker YB Pehin Orang Kaya Laila Setia Bakti Diraja Dato Laila Utama Hj Awg Isa bin Pehin Datu Perdana Manteri Dato Laila Utama Hj Ibrahim.
The first royalty to arrive for the opening ceremony was HRH Prince Haji Sufri Bolkiah, followed by HRH Prince Mohamed Bolkiah, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, and HRH Prince Haji Al-Muhtadee Billah, the Crown Prince and Senior Minister at the Prime Ministerís Office arrived soon after.
The arrival of each member of royalty saw the playing of the national anthem by the RBPF marching band.
Upon arrival, His Majesty took a royal salute and consented to inspect a guard of honour mounted by RBPF personnel, escorted by YB Pehin Dato Laila Utama Awg Hj Isa.
His Majesty was then ushered into the conference hall, accompanied by the Ďcokmarí or the Royal Mace, a sterling silver crafted sceptre which represents a symbol of authority carried by Sergeant-at-Arms.
His Majesty then delivered his 10th Legislative Council Session titah, where the monarch highlighted among other matters concerning the welfare of private sector employees which His Majesty said should not be neglected during LegCo deliberations and needs of public sector employees to be equally addressed and additional budget allocation for the National Development Plan and flood mitigation projects.
In his titah, His Majesty also urged all Bruneians regardless of racial background to stand united as the country implements the Syariah Penal Code Order 2013 and also sought respect from the international community on the Sultanateís decision to implement the Syariah Penal Code Order 2013.
The annual LegCo session which is chaired by the Speaker of the Council, YB Pehin Dato Laila Utama Hj Awg Isa was convened back in 2004 and now comprises 33 members, including His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam, HRH Prince Haji Al-Muhtadee Billah, the Crown Prince and Senior Minister at the Prime Ministerís Office; HRH Prince Mohamed Bolkiah, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade; Cabinet Ministers and appointed members who represent all four districts, individuals bestowed with titles and those who have achieved merit.
Assisting the speaker during the proceedings will be YDM Pehin Orang Kaya Pekerma Jaya Dato Paduka Awg Hj Judin Hj Asar, Clerk I to the Legislative Council, and YM Dato Paduka Awg Hj Abd Salam bin Abd Momin as Clerk II.
- Borneo Bulletin
(7 March 2014)