December 5 marked the birthday anniversary of His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej, it is also regarded as Thailand’s National Day. Thais, from all walks of life, joined together to celebrate the auspicious occasion of His Majesty’s 87th birthday anniversary, as they have always done each and every year.
“We shall reign with righteousness for the benefit and happiness of the Siamese people.” This is the accession oath King Bhumibol Adulyadej took upon his coronation on May 5, 1950, which remains true to these days.
For more than six decades, His Majesty has carried out duties and responsibilities both as a constitutional monarch in accordance with the role defined under the constitution, and as a Thai king in keeping with the traditions and deep-seated beliefs evolved over the seven centuries of the country’s existence.
King Bhumibol Adulyadej has dedicated himself to fulfilling the oath he made, to the benefit and happiness of the Thai people. A pillar of national stability and unity, His Majesty is truly the King of all Thais.
The Thai people’s love and loyalty is founded not just on respect for the institution of the monarchy but on the King personally – with his moral integrity, close contact with his people and his lifelong devotion to them, as evidenced in the many works His Majesty has undertaken on their behalf .
For the past 64 years on the throne, millions of Thais from all walks of life have witnessed and can attest to King Bhumibol Adulyadej’s dedication to his people through all sorts of activities and initiatives that has endeared His Majesty to the hearts of Thais as a highly esteemed and caring monarch who tirelessly works for the continued well-being of his people. King Bhumibol Adulyadej is the “Soul of the Nation” and always in the hearts and minds of the Thai people.
Brunei Darussalam-Thailand Relations
Since the establishment of diplomatic relations in January 1, 1984, Brunei Darussalam and Thailand have enjoyed close and cordial relations since its inception, which have continued to be intensified over the years. These bonds of affinities have been strengthened and have withstood the test of time especially between two monarchs as well as the exchange visit of both leaders.
Thailand stands firm in cooperation with Brunei Darussalam in all areas for the mutual benefits the two countries and people, as well as the peace, prosperity and security of in the region as a whole.
With the support from the Government of His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam, Thailand is looking forward to continue working to further strengthen the cordial bilateral ties of friendship and cooperation between the two nations in the years to come.
At present Apichart Phetcharatana is the Thai Ambassador to Brunei Darussalam and Dato Paduka Haji Kamis bin Haji Tamin is the Brunei Ambassador to Thailand.
The closeness of the two Monarchs is reflected through regular exchange of Royal visits. To mention a few recently; on June 30, 2012, His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam had been granted an audience with His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej at the Chakri Maha Prasart Throne Hall, Grand Palace during His Majesty’s official visit to Thailand.
In May 2013, His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam visited Thailand to attend the 2nd Asia-Pacific Water Summit in Chiang Mai. While Professor Dr Her Royal Highness Princess Chulabhorn Mahidol, the youngest daughter of His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej, visited Brunei Darussalam in early October 2013 to give a keynote lecture at Universiti Brunei Darussalam and was granted Audiences with His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam, and Raja Isteri Pengiran Anak Hajah Saleha at the Istana Nurul Iman Palace.
At the government level, Thailand and Brunei have enjoyed excellent diplomatic relations since 1984. The frequent exchanges of high level visits in the past 30 years have helped expand cooperation between the two countries. The two countries have been working closely hand in hand to foster the existing good cooperation and coordination to equip ourselves with the readiness in becoming one community – the Asean Community. Both sides are keen to expand and deepen cooperation in the areas of agriculture, energy, education, labour and the halal industry.
Thailand and Brunei are also close partners in Asean and other regional and international fora. Thailand and Brunei are good alliance both in Asean and multilateral framework such as OIC, UN and APEC.
Currently, Joint Commission for Bilateral Cooperation (JCBC) is an important mechanical factor for bilateral relations. Thailand hosted the first JCBC meeting in March 30-31, 2003 in Bangkok, which was co-chaired by both countries’ Minister of Foreign Affairs. The topics of discussions concerned the cooperation on defence, trade, investment, labour, academic, tourism communications and culture.
At the people-to-people level, the two countries have closely interacted with each other. There are currently about 1,600 Thai workers being employed in Brunei Darussalam and the Thai community in Brunei Darussalam recently participated in the Brunei National Day Parade in February. Moreover, the number of tourists from Brunei Darussalam to the Kingdom of Thailand is also increasing every year. In terms of food, Thai Hommali rice and Thai fruits especially durian and mango are still the favourite food among the people of Brunei Darussalam. Thailand is working closely with Brunei Darussalam in all areas under the context of Asean in order to realise the Asean community in 2015.
Brunei is the 9th trade partner of Thailand in Asean and the 71st in the world.
Major Thai exports to Brunei Darussalam include rice, frozen and dried fruits, sugar, produces from tapioca, dried cuttlefish, live stocks products and orchids. Thailand imports mainly crude oil, ore, metals, paper pulps and textile from Brunei Darussalam.
In 2003, Thailand and Brunei Darussalam established the “Kong Tun Thai Tawee Tun” (Matching Fund), which is a significant jointed investment by the Brunei Investment Agency (BIA) and the Government Pension Fund (GPF). The cost of the Fund was 90 million US dollars and the period of the Fund was 8 years, which ended in 2008.
However, on August 11, 2008, BIA and GPF established the “Kong Tun Thai Tawee Tun II” (2nd Matching Fund) with a fund of 76 million US dollars and a period of 10 years.
30th Anniversary of the Establishment of Diplomatic Relations between Brunei Darussalam and Thailand
This year, Thailand and Brunei Darussalam celebrated its 30 years of friendship and diplomatic relations. In conjunction with this celebration, the Royal Thai Embassy had organised the following events:
– On August 18, 2014, the Royal Thai Embassy in Brunei Darussalam held a Watercolour Painting Exhibition at the Rizqun International Hotel with Datin Paduka Hajah Adina binti Othman, the Deputy Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports as the guest of honour.
The exhibition showcased 33 pieces of works of art by Dr Suchart Vongthong and Phunsee Vongthong, renowned Thai astists.
– On September 12, 2014, the Royal Thai Embassy in Brunei Darussalam, with the collaboration of the Ministry of Culture of Thailand and the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports of Brunei Darussalam, jointly organised the Concert of Royal Compositions, which was performed by The Bangkok Pro Musica Orchestra and conducted by Admiral M L Usni Pramoj, Privy Councillor and National Artist of Thailand.
The concert featured King Bhumibol Adulyadej’s compositions.
The guests of honour at the event were Her Royal Highness Princess Hajah Masna, the Ambassador-at-Large at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade and her spouse, YAM Pengiran Lela Cheteria Sahibun Najabah Pengiran Anak Haji Abdul Aziz.
– On September 19, 2014, the National Broadcasting Services of Thailand (NBT) and Radio Televisyen Brunei (RTB) hosted a joint musical variety show, ‘Alai Pa Plern’ at the Jerudong Park Amphitheatre.
Artists from both countries had performed on stage and showcased their talents with traditional cultural performances.
The performance, themed ‘Friendship’, was aimed to show strong solidarity and understanding between Thailand and Brunei Darussalam.
The guest of honour at the event was Haji Mohd Rozan bin Dato Paduka Haji Mohd Yunos, Permanent Secretary (Media and Cabinet) at the Prime Minister’s Office.