The signing ceremony for a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports (MCYS) with Brunei Shell Joint Venture (BSJV) and Brunei Gas Carriers Sdn Bhd (BGC) was held at the Jerudong Sports Complex, yesterday.
Signing on behalf of Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports was Permanent Secretary (Community and Culture) Hajah Nor Ashikin binti Haji Johari, and on behalf of BSJV and BGC were represented by Shell Country Chair in Brunei Darussalam and the Managing Director of Brunei Shell Petroleum Sdn Bhd (BSP) Agnete Johnsgaard-Lewis.
The MoU was witnessed by Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports Major General (Rtd) Dato Paduka Seri Haji Aminuddin Ihsan bin Pehin Orang Kaya Saiful Mulok Dato Seri Paduka Haji Abidin as the guest of honour.
The main objective of the memorandum of understanding is as part of the Social Investment initiative of BSJV and BGC towards nation-building, in particular for the upgrading and renovation project of the Old Customs and Excise Building into a gallery and exhibition hall.
In a speech delivered by Deputy Permanent Secretary (Culture) Dr Siti Norkhalbi Haji Wahsalfelah underscored that the signing marked the strengthening of cooperation between the MCYS and BSJV and BGC and is in line with the strategic planning goals of the ministry, especially in the cultural sector, which is to increase strategic cooperation through a whole-of-nation approach in providing a dynamic cultural ecosystem and strengthening heritage.
The former Royal Customs and Excise Building is a historic monument as well as an icon of the start of the modern development of Brunei Darussalam, and is gazetted under the Antiquities and Treasure Troves Act. The upgrading of this building is intended to be one of the main landmarks for Bandar Seri Begawan, where it will be transformed into a gallery and exhibition hall which will be equipped with innovative technology and smart platforms.
The building is also intended to provide avenues that provide inclusive opportunities for all walks of life to increase knowledge and generate economic growth.