Sultan in Bali for Democracy Forum
By Azlan Othman

His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam safety arrived in Bali, Republic of Indonesia, yesterday to attend the Third Bali Democracy Forum, which will begin today (Thursday).

On arrival at Ngurah Rai International Airport, His Majesty was greeted by Dr R M Marty M Natalegawa, Indonesia's Minister for Foreign Affairs, Bapak Ida Bagus Subiksu, a representative of the Provincial Governor of Bali, and Handriyo Kusumo Priyo, Indonesia's Ambassador to Brunei.

Also present at the airport to greet His Majesty was Brigadier General (Rtd) Dato Paduka Awang Mahmud bin Saidin, Ambassador of Brunei to Indonesia. His Majesty also held bilateral talks with Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono last night.

The Third Bali Democracy Forum will conclude on Friday. The theme of this year's forum is "Democracy And The Promotion Of Peace & Stability".

On the first day, His Majesty will attend the Opening Session and the General Debate co-chaired by the Indonesia President and Lee Myung-Bak, the President of the Republic of Korea.

His Majesty will also attend an official lunch hosted by the Indonesia President.

Earlier at Brunei International Airport, His Majesty was bade farewell by His Royal Highness Prince Hj Al-Muhtadee Billah, the Crown Prince and Senior Minister at the Prime Minister's Office, and His Royal Highness Prince 'Abdul Malik.

Prior to His Majesty's departure to Bali, a Doa Selamat was recited by the State Mufti. Also present at the airport were members of Pengiran-Pengiran Cheterias, Cabinet Ministers, members of Privy Council and senior government officials.

The Bali Democracy Forum is expected to issue a chairman's statement which would serve as the guidelines for the implementation of its programme in 2011. It will be carried out by the Institute for Peace and Democracy. The Third Bali Democracy Forum themed "Democracy for Peace and Stability".

The Bali Democracy Forum is a novel initiative launched by Indonesia on December 10-11, 2008, aimed at promoting regional international cooperation in the field of democracy and political development among countries in Asia.

This is not an exclusive forum among democracies, but an inclusive and open forum for countries of Asia to share their experiences and best practices in fostering democracy.

The Bali Democracy Forum is expected to contribute to the pursuit of the democratic ideals through dialogue and practical cooperation.

It is an institution dedicated to promote regional and international cooperation in the field of democracy, and is expected to strengthen democratic institutions at the national level and, and to bridge the gaps in political development in Asia. - Borneo Bulletin (9th December 2010)