By Farah Ahmadnawi
His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam, Supreme Commander of the Royal Brunei Armed Forces and Minister of Defence, called on the need for the Ministry of Defence and the Royal Brunei Armed Forces to layout a plan to produce a new Defence White Paper emphasising on the various non-traditional security threats like pandemics, global financial crisis, greenhouse effect and global warming that contribute to natural disasters.
His Majesty, who delivered a titah yesterday at the 48th anniversary of the Royal Brunei Armed Forces, said throughout the history of the establishment of RBAF, the monarch has witnessed many changes and improvements.
RBAF has transformed "from a conventional armed forces into becoming a defence entity capable of contributing to the development of the people, and even to the international peace and security through peacekeeping and humanitarian mission abroad".
"It is obvious that small size is not an obstacle for us to move forward and on par with other countries. Perhaps, it could become a stimulus to compete in line with the age of RBAF which will mark its golden jubilee in two years," the Supreme Commander said.
His Majesty hoped that the Ministry of Defence and RBAF would continue the improvement efforts in line with the situation and current form of threats by giving equal emphasis to all aspects and elements of defence.
"I am convinced that through such wise and balanced efforts, RBAF will continue to be an efficient, effective and dynamic force. However, besides contributing to the nation and peace internationally, the Ministry of Defence and RBAF should not forget the responsibility to strengthen the internal security at existing army camps.
"All these can be seen as equally crucial because if it is neglected, we fear that it could threaten the capability and implementation of the main functions of the Ministry of Defence and RBAF, particularly when various sorts of non-traditional security threats were felt of late, like pandemics, global financial crisis, greenhouse effect and global warming that vastly contribute to the natural disasters," the monarch said.
"As it marches ahead into its 50th year, the Ministry of Defence and RBAF should from now onwards layout a plan to produce a new Defence White Paper by emphasising on the new threats," added His Majesty.
His Majesty truly hopes that adequate emphasis is given towards professionalism and value-added efforts for every personnel. Towards this, the monarch said that it was high time for the career development structure and terms of engagement to be reviewed.
"I have reiterated the importance of leadership structure in any organisation including the Ministry of Defence and RBAF. Leadership must be firm and credible because if such leadership disintegrates, then the leadership organisation would be chaotic.
"I am hopeful that every leader and superior would continue to uphold the quality of leadership to ascertain proper management and administration on the whole. In this regard, I would like to take this opportunity to express my support on the efforts taken by the Ministry of Defence and RBAF in producing quality leadership," His Majesty said.
"This, among others, is achieved through the establishment of cadet officer school in August last year. I have taken note of the school having conducted its second enrolment and I am waiting for the historical event, the first sovereign parade this July.
"In conclusion, I would like to express my appreciation and thanks for the contributions made by the personnel of the RBAF, be it internally, those working abroad or those who've retired and I wish them a happy 48th anniversary of RBAF and pray that we receive blessings from Allah," said His Majesty.
- Borneo Bulletin
(1st June 2009)