His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam yesterday gave a special birthday gift, announcing an accelerated increment to the salaries of government servants.
The much talked-about topic over the years was highlighted in His Majesty's titah at the Audience and Investiture Ceremony to mark the 60th birthday of the caring monarch at the throne room of the majestic Istana Nurul Iman.
But the cheer for government servants, for the duration of this year only, was tempered with advice for the people to budget and a call for resilience to reduce on imports like fresh produce in an economy primed on diversification away from the staple, oil and gas. "I hope such extra income will be used wisely and prudently while they practise savings through financial planning for future needs."
The monarch also reminded retailers not to take advantage by increasing prices. "My other aspiration is to ensure that the nation continues to prosper and remain safe - which is the pulse for everything. Hence, every level of society should cooperate with our security agencies to uphold peace and security," His Majesty said.
- Borneo Bulletin
(16th July 2006)