Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Brunei Sultan to cabinet ministers: 'Country comes first'




Brunei Sultan to cabinet ministers: 'Country comes first'

His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah of Brunei Darussalam delivering a speech. Borneo Bulletin
His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah of Brunei Darussalam delivering a speech. Borneo Bulletin

Brunei Sultan to cabinet ministers: 'Country comes first'

by Azlan Othman

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN (Borneo Bulletin/ANN) - Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah of Brunei said yesterday that Cabinet Ministers and government officials have to think about the long-term future of the country rather than focus on their own self-interest.

In a hard-hitting speech delivered at a special meeting with the newly appointed Cabinet Ministers at the Istana Nurul Iman, the Sultan said to be a good leader, one must strongly stick to the Malay Islamic Monarchy (MIB) principle and not be a leader who is ‘intoxicated’ with power, who does everything for self-interest and not for the country.

He said among the signs of an ‘intoxicated’ leader is being cunning by setting up plans or strategies for selfish reasons such as cronyism and nepotism, and for the strengthening of position and power.

The monarch strongly wants to see the Cabinet team and government officials fulfiling their responsibilities better, without bringing unreasonable and disruptive problems that affect the implementation of the government’s administration.

"Cabinet Ministers and government officials who are given the authority should really focus on matters that are beneficial for the country and not for self-interest or for the interest of any parties. I know that many issues have been deliberately created merely to attract attention or for publicity," he said.

"In the end this does not bring any benefit but actually causes losses to the government because well intentioned programmes are delayed or postponed," the Sultan said.

"And there are those who are entrusted with such programmes, wanting to cancel them due to external or international pressures. But we are in fact being intimidated by the mere excuses of ‘globalisation’ or ‘internationalisation’ which are not relevant to the country’s interests and needs at all," he said.

In terms of agriculture, the Sultan highlighted the need for more action and a proper approach. "It must be done in an orderly and systematic way, to produce the desired agricultural products for our country. Give the farming sector the attention and priority that it deserves, as this is the sector that will determine our continuity as a sovereign nation. We need to increase the production of rice, which is our staple food, so that we do not have to rely on foreign imports.

"In order to achieve that, it is not merely enough to set goals. We need to put in more effort and hard work, so that our rice production meets the desired target. If there is already a plan, then make sure that it does not get undone by opportunists. For instance, a government scheme for rice production should not be taken over by certain individuals, whether they are in high positions or formerly high-ranking officials with a substantial income from the government. This must not be allowed to happen," he said.

MOST VIEWED

  • First Khmer woman to pass out of West Point

    The life of a soldier certainly isn’t for everyone. The training is gruelling, the hours long and there’s no room for excuses. On top of that, soldiers must be ready to respond to sudden threats at a moment’s notice. Just ask Sithyka

  • Tourists urged not to skip trip

    The Ministry of Tourism has called on international tourists not to cancel trips to Cambodia, but urged them to adhere to several dos and don’ts when arriving in the Kingdom during the Covid-19 pandemic. The ministry released an eight-point instruction manual on Wednesday published

  • The taxman cometh – Cambodia’s capital gains tax casts the net on individual taxpayers

    In a country where only limited personal income tax existed, the new taxation law beginning January 1, 2021, will make taxpayers out of Cambodians, whether they are ready for it or not About two years ago, a little known amendment was made to Article 7 of the Law

  • Cambodian-American gets Star Trek treatment

    Kevin Ung, a Cambodian-American whose family escaped genocide during the Khmer Rouge’s reign of terror, was recently selected from thousands of applicants to participate in the Television Academy Foundation’s inaugural 2020 Star Trek Command Training Programme, a course intended to give hands-on filmmaking experience

  • Cambodia seeks to be transport hub

    Cambodia is working on several fronts to modernise its transport infrastructure and services, concentrating on opening new international gates to relieve and balance traffic congestion at its borders, Minister of Public Works and Transport Sun Chanthol said on Thursday. This is part of the Kingdom’

  • Deminers unearth ancient lion statue

    Cambodia Mine Action Centre (CMAC) director-general Heng Ratana told The Post on Tuesday that a statue of a lion was found by mine clearance experts while they were digging for a development project. It was sent to the Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts last