Brunei to study Singapore, China proposals to ease travel restrictions

Syazwani Hj Rosli & Izah Azahari

It is important to slowly gain back the confidence that was lost in terms of international and regional travel, Minister of Foreign Affairs II Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Erywan bin Pehin Datu Pekerma Jaya Haji Mohd Yusof said.

The minister highlighted this in response to a question on the offer from some countries to allow people from Brunei to visit their countries. He said Singapore and the People’s Republic of China offered limited and restricted travel for their citizens into the country, specifically for government officials and businessmen.

“When they submitted the offers, we began internal discussions looking at the criteria they proposed and then to consider whether we can go along with the proposals or if we can make counter proposals,” he said during the press conference at Al-‘Afiah Hall of the Ministry of Health (MoH).

About the time frame for the government’s decision for the offer, Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Erywan said, “I wouldn’t put a time frame to it yet. I think it is more of both countries being comfortable with the offer and the counter proposals.”

He said as the two countries have officially offered to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs through its government agencies, the MoH, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Home Affairs and the Prime Minister’s Office will consider the offers in terms of it appropriateness, the country’s preparation, as well as the preparations of the other countries.

“With such an offer, we will see if we are willing to accept their terms as well,” the minister said. “This matter should be looked at through the conditions they apply and the conditions that we can probably counter.”

Meanwhile, referring to the statement made by the Malaysian Government, Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Erywan said the Brunei Government is still waiting for the Malaysian Government to make an official offer or recommendation which can be closely looked into by the agencies in the Sultanate.