Culture ‘bridges’ hearts of people of two countries: Minister

James Kon

As Brunei Darussalam will chair the ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community Council for 2021, priorities lie in the implementation of common prosperity, especially in embracing the post COVID-19 reality, said Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports Major General (Rtd) Dato Paduka Seri Haji Aminuddin Ihsan bin Pehin Orang Kaya Saiful Mulok Dato Seri Paduka Haji Abidin.

He said this during the official swearing-in ceremony for the Brunei-China Friendship Association’s new executive committee for the term 2021-2023 at The Rizqun International Hotel yesterday.

“Culture is the bridge that brings the hearts of the people of two countries closer and deepen their understanding and trusts.

“As the chair of ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community Council for 2021, this is in line with our priority which is to ensure that whatever is implemented is for the benefit of the community towards common prosperity especially in preparation to embrace the new reality of post COVID-19,” he said.

Major General (Rtd) Dato Paduka Seri Haji Aminuddin Ihsan highlighted that the Brunei-China Friendship Association has continued to be a “positive added-value platform in the fields of economy and business” as well as intangible aspects such as culture, sports and people-to-people relation”.

“Invitations to Brunei Darussalam to be the first country of honour during the 14th China-ASEAN Expo (CAEXPO) as well as the country’s involvement in the 12th China-ASEAN Cultural Forum at the high level in Nanning, People’s Republic of China in 2017, the implementation of The Belt and Road Initiative and the Brunei Darussalam-People’s Republic of China Year of Tourism 2020 are significant examples of the strong ties that have been forged through the efforts of both countries.

Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports Major General (Rtd) Dato Paduka Seri Haji Aminuddin Ihsan bin Pehin Orang Kaya Saiful Mulok Dato Seri Paduka Haji Abidin witnesses the swearing-in ceremony of the Brunei-China Friendship Association’s new executive committee for the term 2021-2023. PHOTO: JAMES KON

“In addition, in jointly addressing the COVID-19 pandemic, the cooperation and concerns of both countries by helping each other with the involvement of Brunei-China Friendship Association, youth volunteers and stakeholders from both nations also become a symbol of the solid ties between people of both nations,” the minister said.

Major General (Rtd) Dato Paduka Seri Haji Aminuddin Ihsan highlighted, “We are proud of the achievements of our national athletes in Wushu who continue to uphold the country’s name at the international level. This has shown that the people of both countries have utilised the opportunities available to create huge impacts.

“Therefore, we understand the importance of the role of the new leadership of the Brunei-China Friendship Association in expanding into new areas of cooperation together. What is of utmost importance are sustainability and universality in all initiatives implemented, so that the positive effects will be felt by each party comprehensively and continuously,” he said.

The minister said the association’s new move to explore cooperation between young people from the two countries by setting up a Youth Bureau is very timely.

“This is a good opportunity to actively involve our youth with youth in the People’s Republic of China and beyond, to benefit as professionals in various fields. Through this initiative, as the strategic partner to 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, Brunei-China Friendship Association has a huge potential as the body that links the peoples of the two countries that plays a significant role in ensuring the well-being and capabilities of the peoples,” the minister added.

Dr Muhammad Firdaus bin Abdul Rahman was re-elected the Brunei-China Friendship Association President. He said the country is looking forward to boosting the relationship between the two countries to new heights.

Haji Ahmad Morshidi bin Pehin Orang Kaya Digadong Seri Diraja Dato Laila Utama Haji Abdul Rahman was elected Deputy President.

Five vice presidents were selected. They are Lim Boon Hwa, Haji Ghazali Jamil bin Pehin Jawatan Dalam Seri Maharaja Dato Seri Utama Dr Haji Mohd Jamil Al-Sufri, Tan Kai Teck, Goh Kim Tian and Lim Ting Chai. Kwa Boon Wee is the Secretary General and Lim Tong Nam the Treasurer.