Brunei, Singapore strengthen ties in social development initiatives

James Kon

Brunei Darussalam and the Republic of Singapore have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that will constitute the foundation for collaborative social development programmes through shared practices and exchange of information.

The Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports (MCYS) signed the MoU with Singapore’s Ministry of Social and Family Development on Monday via video conference.

According to the MCYS, the MoU focusses on collaborative capacity-building programmes, work attachments and training programmes on social work, social services and social protection pertaining to children, the elderly, women and persons with different abilities.

Permanent Secretary at the MCYS Pengiran Haji Mohd Hasnan bin Pengiran Haji Ali Hassan signed the MoU on behalf of the Government of His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Haji Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien Sa’adul Khairi Waddien, Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam, and signing on behalf of Singapore was Second Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Social and Family Development Stanley Loh Ka Leung.

The signing was witnessed by Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports Major General (Rtd) Dato Paduka Seri Awang Haji Aminuddin Ihsan bin Pehin Orang Kaya Saiful Mulok Dato Seri Paduka Haji Abidin and Singapore’s Minister for Social and Family Development Masagos Zulkifli bin Masagos Mohamad.

Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports Major General (Rtd) Dato Paduka Seri Awang Haji Aminuddin Ihsan bin Pehin Orang Kaya Saiful Mulok Dato Seri Paduka Haji Abidin witnesses Permanent Secretary at the MCYS Pengiran Haji Mohd Hasnan bin Pengiran Haji Ali Hassan signing the MoU. PHOTO: JAMES KON

Major General (Rtd) Dato Paduka Seri Awang Haji Aminuddin Ihsan said that both nations’ ministries share a similar vision to develop a caring and inclusive community, especially by bringing together collaborative work of both governments and key partners, through the implementation of various programmes and initiatives.

He also said the implementation of the MoU would further strengthen the on-going cooperation between both ministries by building on each other’s best practices.

Singapore’s Masagos Zulkifli echoed the same sentiment and highlighted the MoU demonstrates the resolve of both ministries to tap into each other’s experiences and best practices in building stronger and resilient communities, while ensuring vulnerable groups are not left behind.

Both ministers also welcome further exploration of new areas of mutual interest that can benefit both nations and their people.

Representatives from both countries also exchanged views on adapting to the ‘new normal’ following the COVID-19 pandemic, and how it is important to deepen the partnership into the future, particularly in ensuring crucial areas of social services and social protection.