By Azlan Othman
The first meeting of the fourth session of the Legislative Council began yesterday at the new building in Jalan Kebangsaan.
His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam officiated the grand opening by signing a plaque shortly after receiving the Royal Salute and inspecting the guard of honour by the personnel of the Royal Brunei Police Force.
Also in attendance were His Royal Highness Prince Hj Al-Muhtadee Billah, the Crown Prince and Senior Minister at the Prime Minister's Office, HRH Prince Mohamed Bolkiah, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade and HRH Prince Hj Sufri Bolkiah.
Since achieving independence 24 years ago, this is the first time that the nation held the council meeting at the new grand parliament building, the construction for which began in March 2005 under the 8th National Development Plan.
The council meeting reconvened in 2004 after it was suspended for 20 years.
The building has three blocks. Besides office rooms and conference hall, the building also accommodates a banquet hall, library, meeting rooms, auditorium, surau, gymnasium, VIP rooms and canteen, as well as a parade ground in front of the building, parking space, landscape and a three-acre lake.
The clerk of the council, Pehin Orang Kaya Pekerma Jaya Dato Paduka Hj Judin, said the new building would facilitate the council in implementing its mission to give better service to the government and nation especially those relating to the privy council, legislative council and cabinet ministers meeting.
At the same time, it will also uphold the Legislative Council to be comparable to the renowned House of Parliament in the region.
The ceremony yesterday began with the approval of the minutes of the previous meeting held last year at the International Convention Centre in Berakas.
After the titah by His Majesty the Sultan, the speaker of the Legislative Council, YAM Pg Indera Mahkota Pg Anak (Dr) Kemaludin Al-Haj said the meeting would adjourn till 9.30am tomorrow.
- Borneo Bulletin
(5th Mar 2008)