Their Majesties begin State Visit to Sípore
Syafiq Affendy

HIS Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam and Her Majesty Raja Isteri Pengiran Anak Hajah Saleha arrived in the Republic of Singapore yesterday for a three-day State Visit.

Accompanying Their Majesties are HRH Prince ĎAbdul Malik, HRH Prince ĎAbdul Wakeel, HRH Princess Ameerah Wardatul Bolkiah and HRH Princess Hajah Masna, Ambassador-at-Large at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

Upon arrival at the VIP Complex, Changi International Airport, Their Majesties were greeted by Dr Vivian Balakrishnan, Minister of Environment and Water Resource of the Republic of Singapore as Minister-In-Attendance to His Majesty, Mrs Joy Balakrishnan and Jaya Ratnam, the High Commissioner of the Republic of Singapore to Brunei Darussalam and wife.

Also at the airport to greet Their Majesties were Pehin Orang Kaya Pekerma Dewa Dato Seri Setia Lim Jock Seng, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade II and Datin; 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 Datin; and Awang Haji Saiful Bahri bin Haji Awang Mansor, the High Commissioner of Brunei Darussalam to the Republic of Singapore and wife.

Her Majesty received a bouquet of flowers from the wife of the Minister-In-Attendance.

Their Majesties then boarded a motorcade towards the Grand Hyatt Hotel, where they will reside throughout the State Visit.

Upon arrival at the hotel, Their Majesties were greeted by Dato Willi B Martin, the General Manager of the hotel.

Their Majesties will receive a ceremonial welcome at the Istana today. They will pay a courtesy call on and be hosted to a State Banquet by President Tony Tan and Mrs Mary Tan. His Majesty will also meet Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong; Prime Minister Lee and Mrs Lee will host Their Majesties to an official lunch. Prime Minister Lee will also accompany His Majesty for a morning walk at the Gardens by the Bay. In addition, His Majesty will meet former Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew and Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong.

His Majesty will deliver the 34th Singapore Lecture April 22 on ďThe Future of AseanĒ, which will be chaired by Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean. Previous iterations of the prestigious Singapore Lecture have been delivered by distinguished statesmen including President of Indonesia Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, Prime Minister of Japan Shinzo Abe, and Federal Chancellor of Germany Angela Merkel.

During the State Visit, His Majesty will visit the Institute of Technical Education (ITE) College Central campus, the Singapore Armed Forcesí Multi-Mission Range Complex and 3rd Division Headquarters, as well as the Singapore LNG Terminal on Jurong Island.

The State Visit by His Majesty underscores the excellent relations between Singapore and Brunei. It also reaffirms the warm and longstanding friendship between the leaders and peoples of both countries. Singapore and Brunei cooperate closely in many areas including defence, finance, education, and health, as well as in various regional and international fora. His Majestyís visit provides an excellent opportunity to review existing bilateral collaboration and explore new areas for both countries to work together.

Brunei Darussalam and the Republic of Singapore have long-established ties even before diplomatic relations were formalised in 1984.

Also accompanying Their Majesties are Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Kerna Dato Seri Setia (Dr) Haji Awang Abu Bakar bin Haji Apong, Minister of Education and Datin; and Pehin Orang Kaya Laila Setia Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Abdul Rahman bin Haji Ibrahim, Minister of Finance II at the Prime Ministerís Office and Datin.

Earlier in the day, before Their Majesties left the Istana Nurul Iman, a Doa Selamat was recited by Pehin Datu Seri Maharaja Dato Paduka Seri Setia (Dr) Ustaz Haji Awang Abdul Aziz bin Juned, the State Mufti.

Present at His Majesty the Sultanís Flight Hangar in Rimba to bid farewell to Their Majesties were HRH Prince Haji Al-Muhtadee Billah, the Crown Prince and Senior Minister at the Prime Ministerís Office, HRH Paduka Seri Pengiran Anak Isteri Pengiran Anak Sarah, HRH Prince Mohamed Bolkiah, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, HRH Prince Haji Jefri Bolkiah, HRH Princess Hajah Noríain, HRH Princess Hajah Amal Nasibah as well as other members of the royal family.

Also present were YAM Pengiran Cheterias, Speaker of the State Legislative Council, Cabinet Ministers, Members of Councils, Deputy Ministers, Acting Commander of the Royal Brunei Armed Forces, the Commissioner of Police, and a representative of the High Commissioner of Singapore to Brunei Darussalam. - Borneo Bulletin (21 April 2014)