Democratic principles should not become points of division

His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam yesterday called on nations to ensure that they do not become points of division that affect the cohesiveness of the communities in their desire to apply democratic principles.

His Majesty said this in a titah at the General Debate of the Bali Democracy Forum (BDF) V in Nusa Dua, Bali.

His Majesty suggested that there should be an equitable balance between the various interests, concerns and responsibilities within the respective communities.

The challenge is also to ensure that the nations are able to translate the global nature of these principles, so that they make sense in a practical way to all people in their day-to-day lives.

His Majesty also consented to attend the opening ceremony, official luncheon and Gala Dinner.

In the morning, His Majesty was greeted on arrival at the Bali International Convention Centre by Dato Laila Utama Dr Haji Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, the President of Indonesia.

The Bali Democracy Forum V carries the theme "Advancing Democratic Principles at the global settings".

The opening session was officiated by the President of Indonesia, which was also attended by other Heads of State/Government including Australia, Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, Islamic Republic of Iran, Papua New Guinea, Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste and Kingdom of Thailand as well as representatives of other nations and their delegation.

After the opening session, His Majesty joined other Heads of State/Government and other representatives of other nations for a group photo.

His Majesty then attended the General Debate where Heads of State/Government and representatives of other nations were invited to deliver their statements.

His Majesty in the titah firstly expressed his appreciation to the President of Indonesia and his government for the invitation to the Bali Democracy Forum.

His Majesty said the Bali Democracy Forum has grown over the last four years. The fact that the forum has become a notable event in the regional calendar is one of the efforts of the President of Indonesia to promote greater international understanding.

His Majesty further stated that the theme of the 5th Bali Democracy Forum is in line with the principles set out in the United Nation's Millennium Development Goals which were subsequently reflected in the OIC's Makkah 10-year Programme of Action. These principles share a common goal of providing all people with the means to live their lives in a secure environment, with confidence in their future.

His Majesty mentioned that countries have subscribed to them through the membership of international organi-sations and also the governments have strived to apply them to suit the needs and capabilities of the people. However, in the desire to apply these principles, nations must ensure that they do not become points of division that affect the cohesiveness of the communities.

In ending the titah, His Majesty said that this is the main reason why the forum is organised so that other views can be shared amongst us as well as the views of eminent speakers invited to the forum.

After the General Debate, His Majesty joined other leaders and representatives to a luncheon which was hosted by the President of Indonesia.

Later in the evening His Majesty consented to attend the Bali Democratic Forum Gala Dinner V.

The Gala Dinner was hosted by the President of Indonesia and was held at the Bali International Convention Centre.

Accompanying His Majesty at the sessions were Pehin Orang Kaya Laila Setia Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Abdul Rahman bin Haji Ibrahim, Minister of Finance II at the Prime Minister's Office and Pehin Orang Kaya Pekerma Dewa Dato Seri Setia Lim Jock Seng, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade II as well as other senior government officials. - Borneo Bulletin (9 November 2012)