Darussalam Assets Sdn Bhd was incorporated on December 12, 2012 with the mandate to manage the performance of governmentlinked companies (GLCs) under its purview based on commercial principles and good governance.
Darussalam Assets is part of the Brunei Government’s objective to encourage national development, drive economic diversification and general gainful employment through meaningful contribution from profitable, sustainable and commercial enterprises – Brunei’s GLCs.
Darussalam Assets manages the performance of GLCs within its purview to support operational excellence, promote best practice, and improve the value for money of the products and services offered by the Darussalam Assets Group of Companies with an overarching agenda to provide for the nation.
This includes creating conducive environments attractive for foreign direct investments, promoting local business development while complementing private sector growth, and encouraging import substitution while creating export value for international trade.
Its portfolio currently expands to several industries including aviation, telecommunications, power utilities, logistics, agribusiness, food and beverage, leisure and tourism, medical, education, hospitality and real estate.
Darussalam Assets owns over 30 companies across these key sectors. As Darussalam Assets reflects on the last 10 years, its role has transformed strategically over the years to include turning the companies it owns into world-class corporations and becoming a strong pioneer in the private sector. Darussalam Assets works alongside the government to improve industry structures and sector strategies towards successful optimisation of government assets in support of the government’s efforts towards fiscal consolidation, and to enhance the quality and efficiency of service delivery following commercial principles.
As a forward moving organisation, Darussalam Assets is also mindful of how important it is to be a responsible corporate citizen that prioritises taking part in emerging conversations that are of importance on both a national and global scale such as sustainability and digitalisation. Darussalam Assets has a strong commitment to continue demonstrating private sector leadership in the business ecosystem by exercising strong advocacy for social contribution, preservation of the environment and economic prosperity.
Through its corporate social responsibility initiatives, Darussalam Assets seeks to inspire social and economic changes by providing sustainable support and development for the people, profit and the planet.
The company’s RIGHT (respect, integrity, genuineness, humility and teamwork) values, envisioned through the social investments Darussalam Assets invests in, is hoped to drive a short- and long-term positive impact not just for the company but also the community.
Darussalam Assets’ milestones can be divided into two: achievements of the GLCs under the DA Group of Companies and achievements of Darussalam Assets as an organisation. One of the themes for the projects its GLCs embark on is digitalisation, reflecting the nation’s journey to becoming a Smart Nation. Darussalam Pilotage Services Sdn Bhd (DPS) recently launched MarineM, a digital solution to manage the end-to-end delivery of DPS marine operations by automating core procedures, operation and billing in real-time using mobile technology. This solution replaces paper-based operating procedures and provides a more structured process to make vessel movements more efficient.
Another GLC, DST Network Sdn Bhd (DSTN), launched the Unified Smart Metering System (USMS) which combines water and electricity into a single account and digitalising the two services. The system has a two-way communication module to send and receive near real time data from the meters. Consumers can check their available credit balance, track usage pattern and top up instantly.
As an organisation, Darussalam Assets continuously aims to improve its groupwide processes and systems. This is in line with the objective to adopt global best practices, good corporate governance, international reporting standards and to ensure risk management across all aspects of business operations.
Darussalam Assets recently hosted its first Finance Forum with the theme ‘Striving for Financial Performance Excellence’. Darussalam Assets also hosted its 6th consecutive annual HR Forum themed ‘Raising the bar of HR’ where HR professionals across the DA Group of Companies attended to learn new trends in HR both in Brunei and across the region, alongside HR communities within Brunei and the region.
Among other projects, these act as toolkits for the GLCs for the steady improvement of systems and processes as Darussalam Assets continues to ensure adoption of best practices across the group, and to increase the group’s capacity and capabilities.
With the borders open again, Darussalam Assets continues to advise its GLCs with strategies to move forward and beyond. Darussalam Assets will continue serving its role as the strategic owner of Brunei’s GLCs as part of its contribution towards Brunei Vision 2035.
Darussalam Assets will continue striving to champion economic development, effect economic diversification and generate gainful employment opportunities within the Darussalam Assets Group, business community and the private sector as a whole.
Darussalam Assets will also continue to work alongside relevant government agencies to improve the sector strategies of industries in which its companies operate in, with a view to enhance service efficiency, accelerate innovation by leveraging on Brunei’s journey towards becoming a Smart Nation, and to turn its companies into world-class corporations.
Darussalam Assets continues to invest in opportunities that are consistent with long-term structural trends, hoping to catapult local industry players to international standards.
Instead of paying by cash, making payments online is becoming the choice for many consumers around the world due to its convenience. In Brunei, more businesses are accepting cashless payments beyond debit and credit cards such as Progresif Pay, QuickPay and Pocket.
Brunei’s first ever mobile wallet Progresif Pay was introduced in 2018, followed by BruPay. In the same year, Bank Islam Brunei Darussalam (BIBD) launched its QuickPay service which enables consumers to make payments simply by scanning a QR code.
Meanwhile, Pocket is the first cashless payment mobile app in Brunei capable of linking multiple bank cards, allowing users seamless payment to Pocket merchants.
In 2021, DSTPay was launched as a mobile wallet app in collaboration between Baiduri Bank, DST and UnionPay. DSTPay is both Baiduri and UnionPay’s first QR code payment solution in Brunei. The app also marks UnionPay International’s (UPI) first mobile wallet in Southeast Asia that features a tripartite collaboration of a bank, telco and international payment network.
As one of the largest financial institutions in the country, BIBD has always been committed to supporting the development of local start-ups. The bank’s SME360 platform is a comprehensive banking solution that complements the needs of businesses.
It provides access to a dedicated relationship management team, financial solutions as well as digital payments, in support of the nation’s drive towards becoming a Smart Nation powered by a digital economy.
BIBD Mastercard Payment Gateway Services are also offered to micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) wishing to receive digital payments, which is particularly useful for startups who hope to scale up and offer their services beyond the local market where the bank offers this at little to no cost, along with existing digital payment solutions such as QuickPay and physical credit card terminals.
In addition to BIBD, Baiduri MerchantSuite (by Linkly) is an affordable, secure platform specially designed to allow businesses to accept payments online without having to build an expensive e-commerce website. With the ability to process payments from Visa, Mastercard and American Express cards, this platform offers different packages to suit businesses of all sizes, including micro and small businesses.
More established e-commerce merchants can also benefit from Baiduri’s payment gateway service, which enables shoppers to pay for their online purchases using Visa, Mastercard, UnionPay and American Express cards.
Several initiatives have been made to modernise the logistics and transport system in Brunei Darussalam. One such initiative is the establishment of the Muara Port Company Sdn Bhd (MPC) in 2017 to operate the Muara Container Terminal, which is the country’s only seaport. In addition to operating the port, MPC also diversified its business, expanding its operations to land logistics and storage of specialised goods. Other initiatives include the establishment of the Maritime and Port Authority of Brunei Darussalam (MPABD) as a statutory body responsible for the management, administration and security of maritime affairs and ports of Brunei in line with the requirements of international standards.
Over the past few years, several agreements have been signed by MPABD to improve the logistics services in Brunei. In 2021, an agreement was signed with Brunei International Air Cargo Centre (BIACC) for the leasing of Inland Container Depots (ICDs) located at Kuala Lurah and Sungai Tujoh. The ICDs are expected to improve the ease of doing business aspect in Brunei and drive down the logistic costs.
The following year, an agreement was signed between the port authority and Amarco Services Sdn Bhd for the management and operation of Brunei Bay Southern Anchorage. The MPABD and Amarco Services will cooperate in managing the anchorage facility starting June 2023.
Brunei has also been making progress with its transportation sector. In September 2022, a smart shuttle service for Brunei-Muara District was launched by Dart Logistics Sdn Bhd in partnership with Mitsubishi Corporation. The shuttle service uses artificial intelligence (AI) to plan routes efficiently and is a result of collaboration between Dart Logistics and Spare Technology Solutions Inc, a joint venture between Spare Labs Inc and Mitsubishi Corporation.
Since its launch, the shuttle has expanded to over 50 stops including Gadong, Kiulap, government and Bandar areas. Users can now commute to government areas such as the International Convention Centre, Supa Save Mabohai and also Yayasan Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Complex.
The public can also access real-time movement and location of public buses with the recently launched Smart Mobility Operation Cloud (SMOC) mobile app. The pilot project is part of governmental efforts to improve the quality of the public bus transportation system, in line with the initiatives and action plans of the Ministry of Transport and Infocommunications (MTIC) 2025 Strategic Plan and the ministry’s vision towards becoming a ‘Connected Smart Nation.’
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