Crown Prince visits Brunei's industrial areas
By Aemy Azlena and Sonia K
Photo: Info Dept

HRH Prince Hj Al-Muhtadee Billah, the Crown Prince and Senior Minister at the Prime Minister's Office, conducted a working visit to several companies and projects under the management of the Ministry of Industry and Primary Resources (MIPR) and its departments in the Serasa and Lambak Kanan Industrial Areas yesterday.

The purpose of the working visit was to scrutinise in detail the future plans, projects and economic activities in which the various institutions and companies participated in line with the aims and objectives of the Ministry of Industry and Primary Resources (MIPR). These endeavours would assist in diversifying Brunei's economy by creating opportunities for Small Medium Enterprises (SMEs), as well as raise Brunei's profile in the international arena and attract foreign investments (FDI) to Brunei.

HRH started his visit around 9.15am at Jati Freedom Textile Sdn Bhd, in Serasa, a company that produces textiles and apparel products for the purpose of export. It estimated a sales figure of approximately B$73,372,148 in 2006.

HRH was welcomed by the Minister of Industry and Primary Resources, Pehin Orang Kaya Setia Pahlawan Dato Seri Setia Dr Awang Haji Ahmad bin Hj Jumat, Deputy Minister of MIPR, Dato Paduka Haji Hamdillah bin Hj Abdul Wahab, Permanent Secretary at the Prime Minister's Office, Pengiran Dato Paduka Hj Abu Bakar bin Pengiran Seri Indera Pengiran Hj Ismail, Permanent Secretary at the MIPR, Dato Paduka Hj Mohd Hamid bin Hj Jaafar, Acting Director of the Brunei Industrial Development Authority (BINA), Pengiran Sharifuddin bin Pengiran Hj Matali and Managing Director of Jati Freedom Textile Sdn Bhd.

During the tour, HRH was informed of the processes that the company uses to produce textiles, while viewing the equipment and machinery tailored for the purpose.

HRH continued his visit at Oriente Sdn Bhd, where he viewed an exhibit on the types of goods they produce, while listening to an explanation about the development and the advancement of the company over the years.

Oriente employs about 33 staff to provide services and products, which include granite processing and building materials such as furniture and fittings.

Goh Hock Kee (GHK) Auto Assembly Sdn Bhd was next on the itinerary, where the Crown Prince viewed modifications performed on various vehicles, such as buses, trucks and other heavy vehicles, and the attachment of additional accessories on imported cars to be sold in the country. At GHK Auto Assembly, HRH Prince Haji Al-Muhtadee Billah witnessed the handover of a vehicle donated by GHK Auto Assembly to Kg Lambak Berakas Mosque.

On hand to present the mock key was Pehin Kapitan Lela Diraja Dato Paduka Awg Goh King Chin to Dato Paduka Hj Abd Rahman bin Hj Mohiddin, Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Religious Affairs, who later presented the key to the imam of the Kg Lambak Berakas Mosque, Imam Haji Mahali Bin Hj Besar.

According to Imam Haji Mahali, this is the first time they have received a donation from GHK. The vehicle will be used for the mosque's activities, such as field trips involving mosque youths.

Timbertech Sdn Bhd was the next destination, where HRH consented to listen to a briefing on the profile and development of the company. It is estimated that the company's sales reached B$15,543,251 in 2006.

HRH consented to receive a BS10,000 donation from Timbertech Sdn Bhd, which will be given in trust to Dato Paduka Hj Ali Hashim bin Hj Daud, as the executive officer for the Dana Pengiran Muda Mahkota Al-Muhtadee Billah fund for orphans.

The Crown Prince then visited Pengangkutan Awang Damit (ADBS - Awang Damit Bus Services), at the Lambak Kanan Industrial Area where he toured the facilities of the company, established in 1987, which now has about 81 employees and 3 workshops.

ADBS has been one of the more active companies in the transportation service industry, which provides various services including tourist transportation packages to neighbouring states, such as Sabah and Sarawak. It also provides bus rental services.

Asia Printers Sdn Bhd was the next destination for HRH, which has also been active in the industrial arena, conducting printing services for the government, as well as distributing printed stationery, such as books, magazines, brochures and other paper-related products.

During his visit there, HRH also consented to receive a donation of B$3,000 from the company for the Dana Pengiran Muda Mahkota Al-Muhtadee Billah fund for orphans.

HRH continued his visit to Seri Pekatan Sdn Bhd, which has so far produced more than 25,000 kilogrammes of locally made prawn crackers from 2004 to 2006. In 2004, the production was 6,449 kg, whereas in 2005, production saw an increase to 8996 kg. In 2006, production surged to a figure of 10,281 kg.

This year, the total production from January up until April was 3078 kg.

During the visit to Malar Setia Sdn Bhd, HRH consented to receive B$10,000 from the company, which was intended for the Dana Pengiran Muda Mahkota Al-Muhtadee Billah fund for orphans as well.

Malar Setia is a company that distributes food products, and has been in operation since 1998.

The last place on the itinerary was Mahkota Crystal Sdn Bhd, where the Crown Prince consented to view the workers' activities in manufacturing high-value crystal products and other souvenirs and handicrafts. HRH was also given a tour around a display of crystal objects.

At the end of his working visit, HRH held a Zohor prayer at Kampung Sungai Hanching Mosque before consenting to have lunch at a restaurant in Kampung Manggis with senior officers and staff members of MIPR, as well as a number of local businessmen. - Borneo Bulletin (25th May 2007)