Leaders treated to Gala Dinner
Fadhil Yunus

THE Chairman of Asean 2013, His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam, and Her Majesty Raja Isteri Pengiran Anak Hajah Saleha last night consented to host a Gala Dinner for the heads of state and government and their spouses who are attending the 23rd Asean Summit and related summits at the International Convention Centre in Bandar Seri Begawan.

Also present were His Royal Highness Prince Mohamed Bolkiah, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, and Her Royal Highness Pengiran Anak Isteri Pengiran Anak Hajah Zariah.

Upon arrival, Their Majesties were greeted by Pehin Orang Kaya Laila Setia Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Abd Rahman bin Haji Ibrahim, Minister of Finance II at the Prime Minister’s Office; Pehin Orang Kaya Pekerma Dewa Dato Seri Setia Lim Jock Seng, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade II and Pehin Datu Singamanteri Colonel (Rtd) Dato Seri Setia (Dr) Awang Haji Mohammad Yasmin bin Haji Umar, Minister of Energy at the Prime Minister’s Office.

His Majesty, in his welcoming remarks, extended his warm welcome to the leaders and delegates, especially those on their first visit to the Sultanate, and wished everyone an enjoyable stay.

“Colleagues, since Brunei last chaired in 2001, Asean has achieved so much progress. I’m pleased to see that our (Asean’s) engagements have grown and we have become more ambitious.

“Brunei is certainly most privileged to be the chair again this year. Looking ahead, we stand ready to continue to work with all our colleagues and partners to continue the momentum towards building a peaceful and prosperous region for all our people.

“As we are nearing the end of our chair­manship, I would like to take this opportunity to thank you all for the support given to Brunei throughout the year,” said His Majesty.

The leaders are meeting today for the 16th Asean+3 Summit, the 8th East-Asia Summit, the 11th Asean-India Summit and the 5th Asean-UN Summit.

It will culminate with the closing ceremony and the handing-over of the Asean Chairmanship.

A press conference, presided over by His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam, will take place after these events.

Asean leaders and their key partners were dressed in specially-designed attire, suited for the occasion.

Cut from a specially-made, hand-woven fabric, the Brunei Special Outfit is meticulously designed by the Office of His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam.

Each item of clothing represents common traits of Brunei’s finest tradition.

The unique pattern that was woven into the cloth was inspired by the locally popular “Bunga Kambang Setaman” traditional motif.

Attention to detail is also found on the sleeve cuffs of the outfit.

The outfits were crafted by master weavers and artisans of the Brunei Arts and Handicraft Training Centre. - Borneo Bulletin (10 October 2013)