Be innovative in resolving complex issues, officers told

Minister of Defence II Pehin Datu Lailaraja Major General (Rtd) Dato Paduka Seri Haji Awang Halbi bin Haji Mohd Yussof yesterday stressed on the importance of thinking critically and being innovative in resolving complex issues in multiple dimensions and having the intellectual and emotional honesty to speak truth to power once assuming higher appointments in the future.

He said this as the guest of honour in a message to 33 officers who completed the 11th Royal Brunei Armed Forces (RBAF) Command and Staff Course (CSC) in a closing ceremony held virtually for the first time yesterday.

He congratulated the participants for completing the rigorous and demanding 40-week course under the current new norm and highlighted adaptation as one of the keys in embracing the new normal to navigate through the changes and challenges posed by the
COVID-19 pandemic.

The minister also appreciated the collaborative efforts by the Defence Academy, RBAF and Universiti Brunei Darussalam (UBD) for the efforts to ensure the academic portion of the course remained relevant to the current security landscape.

Quoting 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’s titah during the Sultanate’s 37th National Day this year, the minister highlighted the need to develop and adapt to the ever-changing environment to remain resilient and relevant as well as to seize new opportunities amidst the challenges we face.

Minister of Defence II Pehin Datu Lailaraja Major General (Rtd) Dato Paduka Seri Haji Awang Halbi bin Haji Mohd Yussof during the virtual ceremony. PHOTO: MINDEF

He stressed the need for future leaders to include dynamism for peace rather than conflict alone and hoped all the participants will take their own valuable experiences from the course and reflect it positively towards the promotion of global peace and stability.

The ceremony commenced with the recitation of Surah Al-Fatihah and Surah Al-Mujadilah verses 11-12 led by international course participant Major Muhammad Mushawwir bin Che Azuha, Malaysian Army, the winner of the Malaysian Army’s Tilawah Al-Quran Competition in 2018 and 2019, as well as the Malaysian Armed Forces’ Tilawah Al-Quran Competition runner-up in 2019.

The ceremony proceeded with a welcoming remark by Acting Commandant of the Defence Academy, RBAF Lieutenant Colonel (U) Azmie Iskandar bin Ariffin.

Course certificates and special recognition awards were virtually presented to the course participants, followed by the announcement of the award winners. Major Ho Jin Peng of the Singapore Armed Forces received the Overall Excellence Award and the Academic Excellence Award. Major (U) Arif Shamirul bin Salleh of the Royal Brunei Air Force (RBAirF) received the RBAF Commendation Award, while Major (U) Wan Muhammad Azem bin Haji Md Aminuddin of the RBAirF received the Commandant’s Award. Both local award recipients are the ‘home grown products from the first intake of the Royal Brunei Armed Forces Officer Cadet School in 2008.

Participants who complete the course will be awarded the passed staff course (joint) (psc(j)) and receive the UBD Graduate Diploma in Defence and Security Studies, as well as the opportunity to pursue a Master’s degree in Defence and Security Studies.

Officers from the RBAF, RBPF and the Internal Security Department are among the 11th RBAF CSC participants, joined by 13 international participants from the People’s Republic of Bangladesh, the Republic of India, the Republic of Indonesia, Malaysia, the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, the Republic of the Philippines, Saudi Arabia, the Republic of Singapore, Thailand and the United States.

The course, delivered in collaboration with UBD, aimed to broaden officers’ perspectives and professional expertise by exploring current strategic environment issues and their implications for those working in the defence and security fields through tactical and academic approaches and disciplines. Despite the challenges posed of the second wave of COVID-19, the CSC delivered and adapted to the new method of delivering the course via
virtual classes.

Commander of the RBAF Major General (U) Dato Seri Pahlawan Haji Hamzah bin Haji Sahat, Vice-Chancellor of UBD Datin Dr Hajah Anita Binurul Zahrina binti Pehin Orang Kaya Laila Wijaya Dato Seri Setia Haji Awang Abdul Aziz, ambassadors, high commissioners, Deputy Commissioner of the Royal Brunei Police Force (RBPF) Pengiran Dato Seri Pahlawan Haji Mohd Jefri bin Pengiran Haji Abdul Hamid, service commanders, joint force commander, deputy permanent secretaries of Ministry of Defence, representatives from foreign missions in Brunei Darussalam, resident and non-resident defence advisers and defence attachés to Brunei Darussalam, directors, commandants, UBD faculty members as well as senior RBAF officers also attended.