BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN- The Board of Directors for the Yayasan Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah (YSHHB) has approved a $20.9 million budget for the NGO in 2019, which will include the provision of welfare assistance to the needy.

During a meeting of the foundation’s Committee of Governors on Wednesday, HRH Prince Abdul Malik said a “sinking fund” will also be established for the upkeep of assets and infrastructure, including the Yayasan Shopping Complex and Yayasan Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Primary School.

The prince said administrators must be prudent in spending, after an audit last year revealed more than $115,000 had been embezzled from the charity between 2004 and 2016, involving five members of staff.

“I hope the work will be implemented as soon as possible so that the Yayasan Complex will continue to be an iconic building that will be our pride, as well as attract more businesses and visitors to the complex,” he said.

The YSHHB Committee of Governors held its first meeting of the year on February 6, 2019. Photo: Infofoto

HRH also expressed hope that the YSHHB primary school would continue to work towards becoming a “centre of excellence”, after achieving a 100 percent pass rate for the Primary School Examination last year.

In a sabda, the prince touched on the welfare of Kg Bolkiah residents, a housing scheme that was built on the Brunei River with funds from the foundation.

“During my visit to Kg Bolkiah in October last year, among the complaints voiced out by the residents were the conditions of their houses that were damaged by termites,” he said.

“What I want to know now is what are the steps taken by YSHHB management to revitalise Kg Bolkiah… and what steps can be taken to ensure villagers have a sense of [ownership] when working together to improve the appearance of the village.”