Tag Archive: Government


By Azaraimy HH

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Bandar Seri Begawan – His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam, yesterday in a titah queried members of the Islamic Religious Council on the large sum of money from zakat collections yet to be distributed.
The titah was delivered at the opening of the meeting for the Majlis Ugama Islam or Islamic Religious Council at the Legislative Council building.

Pointing to the huge balance, His Majesty asked if it is possible for this money, which in 2004 alone stood at over $200 million, to be distributed because there are apparently people who still need it, especially the poor, and those who are heavily burdened with debt or the al-gharimin.

In Islam, there are six rightful groups or asnaf that can receive the zakat and they include the fakir miskin (poor and needy), tithe collectors, Muallaf (Muslim converts), to redeem slavery, fisabilillah, ibnus sabil and al-gharimin.

The Islamic Religious Council is involved directly in the management of zakat collection in the country.

His Majesty believes that it will be momentous if Brunei can declare itself free of poverty even for a day if the balance of zakat money can be used.

Is it not the principle of zakat to be distributed to the poor or the needy, even if it takes all of it? His Majesty asked at the meeting. He assured that the zakat coffer would never be empty so long as there are Muslims who can contribute.

The Islamic Religious Council holds an immense role in handling all the problems that have religious significance and this role is far reaching.

His Majesty noted that the poor who are among the rightful group, as stipulated, are placed first on the priority list to help them escape from the grip of debt.

His Majesty asked about the position of these people, especially in the “Hukum Zakat” (requirements), who are considered poor and those in debt.

Among the queries raised was whether these people are given the zakat swiftly or if the assistance can be delayed or postponed.

Similarly, can the zakat collection be expanded into some investment or any similar ways, while there still exist people who needed assistance? asked the ruler

His Majesty pointed to an issue with regards to the balance of zakat collection after distribution, which apparently amounted to a hefty sum. According to a general audit for the 2004 figure, the amount stood at $239,631,073.56.

The monarch asked whether this amount was still available.

Touching again on this huge sum of zakat, His Majesty asked if all the rightful groups, in particular the needy and the al-gahrimin, have been given assistance to a point that there are none left to receive them, which contributed to the huge balance.

If this is the position in Brunei, where after all the groups received their rightful share of zakat adequately leaving behind a hefty balance, His Majesty asked whether the balance can be kept or should this balance be distributed to other remaining groups or to those people who also have the right to it.

His Majesty sought an explanation on the undistributed balance of zakat.

“Has there been a study or has it been taken into account the rise or drop (of value) of the currency, a situation which is happening now as the world is experiencing an economic crisis.

“Who will be held responsible for the devaluation or losses, who can be punished or held responsible for the losses?” His Majesty asked.

Other than focusing on the asnaf (eligible recipients of the zakat) who are poor, His Majesty asked about those who suffer from debt (al-gharimin), in particular the conditions in which they are entitled to receive the zakat.

“Has there been any study on the position of these people who are unable to pay their debt such as those who are unable to pay for the government housing and others such as STKRJ, RPN, Yayasan Housing Scheme and others?” queried His Majesty.

All the while, the share of the al-gharimin group have been given to those who have run into debt on building projects such as the construction of mosques or schools.

In this regard, His Majesty saw the logic in also considering giving the al-gharimin share to those with overdue debt or those who have to borrow because of personal problems.

His Majesty noted that poverty could be eradicated immediately if the balance of zakat is distributed to the poor.

The ruler said that based on the calculation, we can declare the country free from poverty even just for a day. The monarch during the opening of 4m Legislative Council Meeting last year had laid out his vision to bring the nation’s poverty level to zero. Based on the total zakat balance, His Majesty said even if we have around 10,000 poor people or more, it is possible that each head of family could receive around $20,000 each.

His Majesty said there could be concern that the zakat might be over but does this fear have any basis at all.

In His Majesty’s view, the zakat is collected for the purpose of distributing it to the rightful groups systematically. There should be no fear whatsoever concerning the zakat money running out so long as there are Muslims and those who are blessed with “rezeki” or income shall always contribute to the zakat. — Courtesy of Borneo Bulletin

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By Amin Hosni

Bandar Seri Begawan – A 23-year-old man from Miri was caught trying to smuggle 84 bottles of Chinese white wine into the country by officers from the Royal Customs and Excise Department’s Enforcement Section.
Seven enforcement officers responded quickly to a tip-off and stopped a gold-coloured car at the Kuala Lurah roundabout yesterday afternoon.

84 bottles of Chinese white wine – each bottle holding 620m1 containing 40 per cent alcohol – were found concealed in a modified storage compartment behind the rear passenger seat.

The offender was taken immediately to the customs headquarters for further investigation and later remanded at the Bandar Seri Begawan Police Station.

The offender will be prosecuted in court under the Chapter 146 of the Excise Order 2006. The
department expressed its appreciation to the public for their assistance. Those with information on smuggling activities can contact the Customs hotline at 8714422 or 2382422. — Courtesy of Borneo Bulletin

Temburong Needs Cleaning Up

By Rasidah HAB

Bangar – Residents of Temburong’s Kg Ujung Jalan has voiced their dissatisfaction with the trail of rubbish left on the roadside, a common sight during the school holidays. Rouziyah Hj Abu Bakar, a primary school teacher, said that the issue has been going on for years. December and January has always been the worst due to the long school holiday season, she said.

A large number of Bruneians and foreigners take advantage of the holidays to travel through the only land route that connects Brunei, Sabah and Sarawak.

The rubbish trail starts when a long line of cars queue at the immigration post leading to the Kg Ujung Jalan ferry.

Rouziyah, whose house is situated some eight metres from the main road, said that relevant
authorities should step up and come up with a solution.

It would help if someone is employed to clean up the rubbish at the roadside, she said, adding that no action had been taken in previous years.

Roslan Hj Bungsu lamented how some people fail to make full use of the rubbish bins located by the roadside.

“This has a negative impact in the district’s efforts to promote tourism,” he said.

Hamimah@Arby Hj A Ahmad said, that the act of throwing rubbish indiscriminately is inconsiderate and the perpetrators do not take into account the residents’ feelings. It would not hurt to collect the rubbish and dispose it at properly designated sites, she said.

“They could make use of the garbage bins provided for the residents, instead of simply throwing the rubbish out of their car’s window,” said the 20-yearold.

The increase in the number of cars crossing the border from Temburong to Limbang resulted in more rubbish being left behind, she said, adding that the rubbish were mostly food wrappings and even diapers.

Hamimah said that the worst part was the beer cans, which is insensitive as the residents in the village were Muslims.

Relevant authorities should take some action by putting signboards to inform passing cars not to throw rubbish and provide more rubbish bins to dispose their garbage, she said.

“We have tried our best to preserve our village’s cleanliness but all that would go to waste if others continue to litter indiscriminately,” she added.

An employee in a private company who wanted to be known as Rashid said that he is greeted by rubbish at the roadside on the way to his house.

“I consider my home as a sanctuary, an escape from work. It is where I can just relax and spend time with my family during my days off, but being greeted by rubbish upon arrival does not really help you to relax,” he said.

“The residents have learnt the importance of protecting the environment, I hope that everybody else would also play their part,” he added.

Imposing fines for people throwing rubbish indiscriminately’ could also be practiced, said 23-year-old Fadzillah, adding that this would require strong enforcement and constant monitoring.

He said that most of the perpetrators did not really care as most of them do not live in the district. — Courtesy of The Brunei Times

By Azaraimy HH

Bandar Seri Begawan – His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam yesterday consented to the transfer and appointment of the following officers:
Dato Paduka Awang Haji Mustappa Bin Haji Sirat, Permanent Secretary at the Prime Minister’s Office, is transferred to the Ministry of Defence as Permanent Secretary 1, Ministry of Defence.

Awang Sa Bali Abas, Director General of the Public Service Department, as Permanent Secretary at the Prime Minister’s Office.

Awang Haji Omar Bin Haji Abdul Rahman, Senior Administrative Officer at the Ministry of Home Affairs, as Permanent Secretary at the Prime Minister’s Office.

Awang Haji Ibrahim Bin Haji Hassan, Director of Administration and Services at the Ministry of
Communication, as Director General of Public Service at the Public Service Department.

From a PMO press release, it was stated that the transfer and appointment of said officers would take effect from Dec 25 this year. — Courtesy of Borneo Bulletin