BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN – The Ministry of Home Affairs (MoHA) has tabled a $136.5 million budget for the 2023/34 fiscal year, a 6.3% increase from the previous year, placing the digitalisation of key immigration services and border control measures at the forefront.

The National Labour Management System — expected to replace the current over-the-counter service — will be introduced in April this year.

“It will change our service delivery to a more transparent and efficient [process], whereby applications for Foreign Workers License and Domestic Service License will be carried out online,” said Home Affairs Minister Dato Hj Ahmaddin Hj Abdul Rahman.

He said a number of digitalisation efforts are already being implemented in phase, including the Border Management System and the Identity Card Management System, both aimed at improving the security and general welfare of the people the country.

“This will assist the Immigration Department in collecting information and data, while enabling information-sharing between relevant agencies in terms of analysis, planning, and policy-making, amongst others,” said Dato Hj Ahmaddin.

He noted that digital apps for other immigration services, such as visas, passes, and birth and death registrations, will be introduced soon.

In his budget readout, the minister said $131.8 million will be spent on to staff salaries while the remaining $4.69 million has been set aside for seven development projects.

One of these projects is the Human Resource Competency Framework, which will identify and reduce competency gaps for ministry staff as well as village and mukim leaders.

Dato Hj Ahmaddin also shared that $3.76 million has been allocated for the upkeep of prisons.

“This is for the upgrading and maintenance of Phase 1 and 3 of the Maraburong Prison, along with the installation of CCTV systems for the Jerudong Prison,” he said.