Legislative Council members praise His Majesty's titah
Bandar Seri Begawan - Legislative Council (LegCo) members yesterday praised His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam's titah, which was delivered on the opening of the 9th session of the LegCo meeting on Thursday, in which the monarch revealed that the Estate Duty had been abolished since January 1, 2013, to encourage domestic investment.
The Minister of Education, Yang Berhormat Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Kerna Dato Seri Setia (Dr) Hj Awg Abu Bakar bin Hj Apong, said the decision to abolish the Estate Duty was "a valuable and priceless gift" and that the people of Brunei should be thankful for it.
According to him, the Estate Duty is not solely to generate government revenue but more on the implication on the loss of family's property, which sometimes falls into the hands of others.
This clearly shows the concern of His Majesty on the welfare of his subjects, said the Minister of Education.
Meanwhile, YB Pehin Datu Imam Dato Paduka Seri Setia Ustaz Hj Awg Abdul Hamid bin Bakal, said that news of the abolishment of the Estate Duty was very much welcomed, as this would not only eliminate the burden of taxes to heirs of inherited properties, but it is also in line with the Syarak Law, whereby only the heirs to properties are eligible to approve the rights of the deceased. This also includes any outstanding Estate Duty that would also be removed from the account.
"There have been instances where heirs were unable to inherit properties, as the taxes were far beyond their financial capabilities," he said, noting that the abolishment of the Estate Duty shows His Majesty's commitment in enforcing the law of Allah the Almighty in the Sultanate.
YB Pehin Datu Imam Dato Paduka Seri Setia Ustaz Hj Awg Abdul Hamid said people should not view the abolishment of the Estate Duty as a huge loss to the country. On the contrary, it is an act that would lead to blessings from Allah the Almighty, he added.
YB Datin Paduka Hjh Salbiah binti Hj Sulaiman said abolishing the Estate Duty would encourage domestic investment by Bruneians themselves. She also hoped that the private sector would give positive response to the monarch's aspirations.
"The call made by His Majesty depicted his concern for the difficulty faced by his subjects. It would create harmony among the families involved. We should be thankful for such a move," she said.
Meanwhile, YB Awg Hj Jumat bin Akim said the abolishment of the Estate Duty it would develop assets for the welfare of the people and contribute to the country's economy. ,
"Opportunities are now widely open," he said, noting that what is important now for the people is to use it wisely.
YB Awg Hj Mohd Shafiee bin Ahmad said abolishing the Estate Duty reflects the concern and love of His Majesty for his subjects. In view of this, he urged the people of Brunei to be thankful for such a meaningful and valuable titah.
The Minister of Religious Affairs, YB Pg Dato Seri Setia Dr Hj Mohammad bin Pg Hj Abdul Rahman, meanwhile, said His Majesty's decision to abolish the Estate Duty was a commendable move, as it will not only attract local investments but also in accordance with the Syarak Law, whereby inheritance assets could not be taxed unless there are debts that need to be settled. The estate of a deceased belongs to the heirs, he said.--Courtesy of Borneo Bulletin