Brunei can showcase its Muslim society to Western world
Danial Norjidi in Phnom Penh

The Chairmanship of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) will allow Brunei to showcase its Muslim society to the Western world; a society that is friendly and gentle.

This was said yesterday by Siphan Phay, Secretary of State and Spokesman for Cambodia's Council of Ministers, while speaking to the Borneo Bulletin in an interview.

"Brunei can show a Muslim society to Western society - how friendly and gentle relations can be between a Muslim and non-Muslim country," he said. "Brunei is a Muslim country that is very friendly and that shares mutual respect with all the Asean nations," he added.

"So far we have learned that Brunei is a very, very gentle nation and that they have what we call 'diplomatic prowess' to engage and maintain peace and stability in the region," he continued, adding, "they are very proactive to be friendly with others and maintain peace and stability."

Teuku Faizasyah, Indonesian Presidential Palace's International Spokesperson spoke to reporters in the International Media Centre, and said, "We have every confidence in Brunei's chairmanship. It's a continuum.

"We are moving from the summit we chaired last year in Bali and now in Cambodia, so certainly, Asean already has certain priorities.

"It's a continuum of activities building up on what we achieved the year before, this year and certainly next year are part of continuum of Asean progress," he added."We must make sure that the 2015 community target can be achieved and that is why all the member countries will lend their support to whomever chairs Asean."

The spokesman told reporters that Indonesia, on many occasions has emphasised its desire to ensure the success of Brunei's chairmanship because this will lead to the Asean Community of 2015.

"...There is plenty of interest on our part to ensure the continuation of the agenda and the progress of Asean achievement," he added.

Today a symbolic handover of the Asean Chairmanship from Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen to His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam will take place at the Peace Palace in Phnom Penh. - Borneo Bulletin (20 November 2012)