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Borneo Bulletin: Shell contributes US$5M for local health centre (*Generous gift or bribe to buy favour?)

By Kartika Rahman

A sum of US$5 million is to be donated by Royal Dutch Shell towards the development of a Health Promotion Centre. This commitment was formalised yesterday with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Brunei’s Ministry of Health and Brunei Shell Petroleum Company Sdn Bhd (BSP).

The donation was announced by the Company in July 2006 to mark the occasion of the 60th birthday anniversary of His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam.

“This project is a public-private partnership between the Ministry of Health and Brunei Shell Petroleum Company Sdn Bhd,” said the Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Health, Dato Paduka Serbini Ali, in his welcoming remarks.

“It is an investment where early preventive steps can reduce the financial burden of the Government in the management and treatment of chronic non-communicable diseases.

“The project is in line with the World Health Organisation’s drive to promote health as stated in the Ottawa Charter, which is aimed at ‘Creating Supportive Environment’, ‘Strengthening Community Action’, and ‘Developing Personal Skills’,” he added.

Signing on behalf of the Ministry of Health was its Permanent Secretary, Dato Paduka Serbini Ali, while Dr Grahaeme Henderson, Managing Director, signed on behalf of BSP. The signing was witnessed by the Minister of Health, Pehin Dato Seri Setia Hj Suyoi bin Hj Osman.

The MoU signals the commencement of preparatory work leading to the construction of the Health Promotion Centre – an initiative of the Ministry of Health aimed at promoting and inculcating a healthy lifestyle among Bruneians.

The Centre will drive the government’s efforts to raise the level of awareness, knowledge and understanding among Bruneians on health matters generally and particularly lifestyle-related diseases. It will serve as a resource centre enabling the public to obtain skills and tools to manage their health. It will also function as a community outreach and development centre with special focus on providing interactive and innovative health education programmes for children and the youth.

*Headline comment added by This is not the first gift involving a “a palace once tainted by financial scandal”…

Check out the links below: and its sister websites,,,,, and are all owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia article.

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