| Hakim Hayat |
THE border demarcation negotiations between Brunei Darussalam and Malaysia is a matter that needs careful work and consideration and should not be rushed, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade II YB Dato Seri Paduka Awang Haji Erywan bin Pehin Datu Pekerma Jaya Haji Mohd Yusof said yesterday, in response to a query raised by a Legislative Council (LegCo) member during the ongoing 14th LegCo session.
During deliberations of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MoFAT) budget allocation for the financial year 2018/2019 that was passed in parliament yesterday, LegCo member YB Pehin Datu Imam Dato Paduka Seri Setia Ustaz Haji Awang Abdul Hamid bin Bakal raised a question on the current status and progress of the land demarcation negotiation between Brunei and the Malaysian state of Sarawak, which he said was brought up years ago in the LegCo meeting and also asked for an estimated time for its conclusion.
In his response to the query, YB Dato Seri Paduka Awang Haji Erywan emphasised that the matter has to be handled carefully, without unnecessary haste, taking into account the shared history of Brunei and Sarawak.
“The negotiation process of the land demarcation is still ongoing and it is done meticulously and must be carried out with care because there are issues on the moving of landmarks that was raised a few years ago,” said the minister, adding that there is no exact time frame of the conclusion of the negotiations yet.
In a joint statement issued after the 21st Annual Leaders’ Consultation between Brunei Darussalam and Malaysia last year, 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 the Malaysian Prime Minister Dato Laila Utama Dato’ Sri Mohd Najib Tun Haji Abdul Razak, Prime Minister of Malaysia welcomed the steady progress made by the joint technical teams on the demarcation and survey of the land boundary between Brunei Darussalam and Malaysia.
In this regard, both leaders commended the teams for their work and urged them to continue to undertake the survey and demarcation activities expeditiously, especially in priority areas.