Sultan inspects venue for Asean Summit
Hakim Hayat

AS Asean Chair Brunei Darussalam gears up to host the 22nd Asean Summit next week, His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam yesterday inspected the final preparations at the recently completed Prime Ministerís Office (PMO) building in Jalan Berakas.

The new complex is scheduled to be the venue for the regional annual meeting of leaders of the 10 Asean member states from April 24-25, 2013. His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam, His Royal Highness Prince Haji Al-Muhtadee Billah, the Crown Prince and Senior Minister at the Prime Ministerís Office; and HRH Prince ĎAbdul Malik arriving at the new Prime Ministerís Office building which will be the venue for the 22nd Asean Summit meetings next week

The Leadersí Retreat Meeting, 9th Bimp-Eaga Summit and Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand Growth Triangle (IMT-GT) Summit will also be held concurrently at the venue.

Accompanying His Majesty during the visit were HRH Prince Haji Al-Muhtadee Billah, the Crown Prince and Senior Minister at the Prime Ministerís Office; and HRH Prince ĎAbdul Malik.

Upon arrival, His Majesty was greeted by Pehin Orang Kaya Laila Setia Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Abdul Rahman bin Haji Ibrahim, Minister of Finance II at the Prime Ministerís Office; Pehin Datu Singamanteri Colonel (Rtd) Dato Seri Setia (Dr) Awang Haji Mohammad Yasmin bin Haji Umar, Minister of Energy at the Prime Ministerís Office; and Pehin Orang Kaya Pekerma Dewa Dato Seri Setia Lim Jock Seng, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade II; as well as senior officials from PMO.

Before embarking on an hour-long tour of the buildingís facilities, His Majesty consented to sign a plaque to commemorate his working visit.

Dato Paduka Hj Mohd Nor bin Hj Jeludin, Deputy Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MoFAT), was on hand to brief His Majesty during the monarchís tour of the state-of-the-art three-storey complex.

His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam, His Royal Highness Prince Haji Al-Muhtadee Billah, the Crown Prince and Senior Minister at the Prime Ministerís Office (PMO) and officials inside the Retreat Meeting Room where most of the meetings will take place. PHOTOS: DEAN KASSIM

His Majesty took a closer look and inspected various meeting rooms that will house leaders and delegates in different meetings during the two-day summit.

His Majesty toured the new complexís lobby where His Majesty is scheduled to welcome the Asean leaders during the summit. The lobby will also be the venue for the customary group photo of all the Asean leaders after the summit.

The monarch also toured the new complexís Banquet Hall, Press Conference Hall and Press Working Areas.

His Majesty, as the Chairman of the Asean Summit this year, was seen actively engaged with ministers and senior officials as he toured the complexís facilities, inspecting essential equipment such as audio and visual services and other equipment to ensure a smooth running of the Asean Summit next Wednesday.

As the summit will attract hundreds of international and local media outlets for coverage, the monarch wants to ensure that media personnel have comfortable and fully equipped working areas to enable them to broadcast news efficiently.

This is the fourth time that Brunei Darussalam has chaired Asean, having previously been the Chair in 1989, 1995 and 2001.

Apart from the upcoming Summit, Brunei will also host the 23rd Asean Summit and Related Summits on October 9-10 this year. Brunei Darussalamís theme for the Chairmanship is ďOur People, Our Future TogetherĒ.

This theme stresses the role of the people in Asean member states in advancing cooperation in the areas of political-security, economic and socio-cultural. It also asserts that the regionís future is dependent on how the people of Asean move and work together to ensure progress for the development of the whole region.

His Majesty in a titah to mark the New Year 2013 underscored that Brunei as Asean host this year will leverage on this opportunity to capitalise its role in contributing peace and stability regionally and globally.

His Majesty in the titah also said this is an opportunity for Brunei to showcase to the world its ability to garner success, growth, peace and harmony through community-living and to be able to receive guests cordially. - Borneo Bulletin (21 April 2013)


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