Royal concern on security
By Azlan Othman

His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam, Minister of Defence and Supreme Commander of the Royal Brunei Armed Forces (RBAF), yesterday expressed his serious concern over issues that affect the security at the Ministry of Defence and RBAF, which involve physical, personnel, document securities, as well as weapon and ammunition security and other related matters.

His Majesty also raised concerns over army personnel taking drugs and alcohol.

In a titah the monarch delivered during a working visit to the Ministry of Defence at Bolkiah Garrison, His Majesty said these security incidences could affect the credibility and ability of RBAF. "Hence, in my opinion, the strengthening of security at the Ministry of Defence and RBAF should be taken note of.

"And as part of an effort and following the enhancement endeavours all these while, I want the security division of the Directorate of Intelligence to become the Ministry of Defence Department and Directorate of Strategic and Planning effective July 1, 2011," the Sultan said.

His Majesty was glad to note that efforts and improvements that have been undertaken by the Royal Brunei Armed Forces, which are carried out through various programmes, such as the establishment of a counselling centre of RBAF in 2003, the setting up of optimum army fitness, army court, Defence White Paper and strategic plan of the Ministry of Defence and RBAF.

And soon, the Defence White Paper 2011 will be launched.

The RBAF also introduced key performance indicators and performance budgeting, as well as several guidelines such as orders of the Commanders of RBAF.

These guidelines are among others aimed at upholding the discipline and best etiquettes of RBAF and to also further strengthen the establishment of the Religious Department of RBAF.

The department has also the obligation to glorify and strengthen religious values among the personnel and to wipeout misuse of drugs and drinking. "I was made to understand that these two disgraceful crimes still occur and must be tackled firmly as they are 'skin sores' and should not be allowed to spread or infect others," said the ruler.

His Majesty also applauded the implementation of 'Hikmat Bersatu 3' exercise and congratulated those involved. The exercise is useful in empowering and enhancing the army personnel's ability.

"However," His Majesty reminded, "in our excitement to carry out plans, we should ensure that they do not just merely remain as plans and come to fruition. The main aspiration is to equip oneself with existing plans like we have set up an army academy, which is for knowledge purposes and all army personnel should possess required skills and knowledge in line with the current trends."

Touching on the doctrine and post tasks, His Majesty believed that its requirement needed to be reviewed in accordance with the latest developments of RBAF.

In conjunction with the 50th anniversary of the RBAF, His Majesty said it was high time for the force to manage its respective structure in line with the human resources and the asset the country possesses at present.

His Majesty also announced the appointment of Pehin Datu Pekerma Jaya Colonel Muhd Taweh bin Abdullah, Commandant of the Training Institute of RBAF as the Deputy Commander RBAF and promoted to Brigadier General effective May 25, 2011 and appointed to the Defence Executive Committee.

His Majesty also consented to promote to Commander of the Armed Forces and Joint Force Head Quarter RBAF Commander and to become Brigadier General 260 Col Hj Yusof bin Hj Abd Rahman, Commander of the Royal Brunei Land Force; 252 Col (L) Hj Abdul Halim bin Hj Mohd Hanifah, Commander of the Royal Brunei Navy; 194 Col (U) Hj Jofri bin Hj Abdullah, Commander of the Royal Brunei Air Force and 253 Col (L) Abd Aziz bin Hj Mohd Tamit, Joint Force Head Quarter RBAF Commander. The promotions are effective May 25, 2011.

"I congratulate the senior officers and hope that they continue to serve with excellence with full of loyalty to Allah, Prophet and to the monarch as 'Ulil Amri'," said His Majesty.

Earlier, His Majesty was greeted by Deputy Minister of Defence, Dato Paduka Haji Mustappa bin Haji Sirat; Commander of the Royal Brunei Armed Forces, Major General Dato Paduka Seri Haji Aminuddin Ihsan bin Pehin Orang Kaya Saiful Mulok Dato Seri Paduka Haji Abidin; Permanent Secretaries, Deputy Permanent Secretaries of the Ministry of Defence, army commanders, senior officers at the Ministry of Defence and RBAF.

His Majesty inspected a guard of honour comprising 111 personnel of the 3rd battalion of the Royal Brunei Land Force.

His Majesty visited the Ministry of Defence Department and Directorate of Strategic and Planning at Bolkiah Garrison. The monarch ended his visit at the library and information centre of the Ministry of Defence. Before leaving, His Majesty received a pesambah in the form of a library membership card. - Borneo Bulletin (26th May 2011)