| Siti Hajar |
DEEPER bonds were forged yesterday between the Governments of Singapore and Brunei with yet another signing of intent documents that aims to enhance cooperation between the security agencies of the two countries.
The ceremony took place at the Prime Minister’s Office in Jalan Menteri Besar, where Brunei was represented by Permanent Secretary (Security and Enforcement) at the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), Dato Paduka Haji Hamdan bin Haji Abu Bakar, while Permanent Secretary Tan Tee How from the Ministry of Home Affairs of Singapore represented the city-state.
The ceremony was witnessed by the Minister of Energy at the PMO, Pehin Datu Singamanteri Colonel (Rtd) Dato Seri Setia (Dr) Awang Haji Mohammad Yasmin bin Haji Umar. In an interview following the signing, Tan Tee How explained that the focus of the collaboration will be on the field of narcotics, particularly in rehabilitation of drug addicts.
“Brunei has a very successful model that integrates the community, family and religion,” he said.
“This is a cross-boundary issue and for two countries that are small, we have a number of similarities and the problems that we confront are common.”
The signed document, he added, “will provide a platform for us to do even more together even while we continue with our existing programmes. Brunei and Singapore have very good relations and we work together very closely and we are very happy that we will do even more going forward.”
As a follow-up to the signing, both sides “will be meeting very soon” to discuss areas for further collaboration. This includes programmes that will bring together junior officers as suggested by the minister of energy at the PMO during an earlier courtesy call.
“We feel it is important that we have good relations at all levels and not just among senior officials. It is very important that we learn from each other as we work together to tackle the issues of common interest,” he added.
The signing has been described as a new milestone in cementing the cooperation between the two nations on matters related to crime at the domestic, regional and international levels.