Strengthening Brunei-Singapore bilateral relationship

HIS Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam and Her Majesty Raja Isteri Pengiran Anak Hajah Saleha, who are in Singapore for a three-day state visit, yesterday morning consented to attend an official welcoming ceremony at the Istana.

His Majesty met with Dr Tony Tan Keng Yam, President of Singapore, and later held a four-eye meeting with Lee Hsien Loong, Prime Minister of Singapore.

Her Majesty, meanwhile, attended a morning tea hosted by Mrs Tan Keng Yam, wife of the President of Singapore, and later attended a similar event hosted by Mrs Lee Hsien Loong, wife of the Prime Minister of Singapore.

In the afternoon, Their Majesties attended a luncheon hosted by the Prime Minister and his wife.

The President and His Majesty expressed their satisfaction with the excellent state of bilateral relationship. Both leaders noted the fruitful cooperation between the two countries in many areas including economy, defence, education, health, finance and youth issues.

This was followed by a four-eye meeting between His Majesty and Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong. Prime Minister Lee and His Majesty reaffirmed the importance of maintaining the longstanding bilateral partnership and agreed to keep up the close ties at the leadership level into the next generation.

In this regard, Prime Minister Lee welcomes the visit of His Royal Highness Prince Haji Al-Muhtadee Billah, the Crown Prince and Senior Minister at the Prime Ministerís Office to Singapore later this year. This is a follow up to Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Heanís visit to Brunei in August 2013 under the Young Leadersí Programme.

Prime Minister Lee also extended an invitation to His Royal Highness the Crown Prince to attend the Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore.

Upon arrival at the President Palace for the official welcoming ceremony, Their Majesties were greeted by Dr Tony Tan Keng Yam and Mrs Tan Keng Yam.

Accompanying Their Majesties were His Royal Highness Prince ĎAbdul Malik and Her Royal Highness Princess Hajah Masna, Ambassador-at-Large at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

His Majesty was then invited to the dais with Dr Tony Tan to receive an honorary salute followed by the national anthem of Brunei Darussalam and the Republic of Singapore. The national flags of both countries were hoisted.

His Majesty then inspected the guard of honour mounted by 72 personnel from the Singapore Land Forces.

Their Majesties together with Dr Tony Tan and wife then proceeded to the President Palace. At the State Room, His Majesty signed a visitor book.

Their Majesties were introduced to Singaporeís highest ranking officials. Dr Tony Tan and wife were also introduced to the official delegation of Brunei Darussalam.

Their Majesties together with Dr Tony Tan and wife later proceeded to the West Drawing Room and subsequently had a photo session.

Shortly afterwards, Their Majesties were greeted by Lee Hsien Loong, the Prime Minister of the Republic of Singapore and wife, followed by a joint photo session.

After the four-eye meeting concluded, His Majesty and Her Majesty together with Prime Minister Lee and wife proceeded to the Reception Room for a luncheon.

Accompanying Their Majesties were Dr Vivian Balakrishnan, Minister of Environment and Water Resource of the Republic of Singapore and wife, as Minister-In-Attendance; YAM Pengiran Lela Cheteria Sahibun Najabah Pengiran Anak Haji Abdul Aziz bin Pengiran Jaya Negara Pengiran Haji Abu Bakar; Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Kerna Dato Seri Setia (Dr) Haji Awang Abu Bakar bin Haji Apong, Minister of Education and Datin; 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; Pehin Orang Kaya Pekerma Dewa Dato Seri Setia Lim Jock Seng, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade II and Datin; and 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. - Borneo Bulletin (22 April 2014)