Diplomats pack up suitcase of fond Brunei memories

Lyna Mohamad

Completing their tenure, two foreign diplomats have shared their observations and experience of life in the Sultanate.

On the eve of his September 5 departure home, Former High Commissioner of Pakistan to Brunei Darussalam Major General (Rtd) Abdul Aziz Tariq shared fond memories of his time here, before describing Bruneians as being “highly disciplined”.

He expressed gratitude to 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, the Brunei government and the people for the hospitality.

Major General (Rtd) Abdul Aziz Tariq further cemented the already strong brotherly ties between the two governments and their peoples.

“I am grateful to His Majesty and His Majesty’s Government for hosting the large Pakistani community, who plays a significant role in contributing towards Brunei’s economy and prosperity. I leave with a heavy heart this Abode of Peace and its tranquility. Long Live Brunei-Pakistan friendship and brotherhood,” he said.

FROM LEFT: Former High Commissioner of Pakistan to Brunei Darussalam Major General (Rtd) Abdul Aziz Tariq and outgoing Ambassador of the Republic of the Philippines to Brunei Darussalam Christopher B Montero. PHOTOS: LYNA MOHAMAD

Meanwhile, outgoing Ambassador of the Republic of the Philippines to Brunei Darussalam Christopher B Montero, who is set to leave the country on September 15, said it has been a “wonderful privilege” to represent the Philippine Government and its people in the Abode of Peace.

Describing the Sultanate as “beautiful and peaceful,” Montero is proud to have contributed towards the strengthening of Brunei Darussalam-Philippines ties, especially during the pandemic.

“While most countries reel from the extreme difficulties and challenges of the pandemic, I spent most part of my stay here living an “almost normal” diplomatic life. I attribute this primarily to the benevolent wisdom and wise guidance of His Majesty, for the outstanding manner in which the pandemic has been effectively managed and contained in the Sultanate,” he said.

The second wave of the outbreak has dealt some challenges to Filipino workers here, Montero said, before expressing gratitude to the monarch and the Brunei Government for rendering support to the embassy and the Filipino community.

“We remain hopeful that in due time, things will return to the way they were a month ago, and my fellow Filipinos would be able to continue contributing their share towards the economic progress and development of the Sultanate.”

He expressed hope that His Majesty, members of the royal family and the people of Brunei Darussalam will continue to be blessed with success, good health and enduring happiness.

“I shall bring home with me fond memories of the abundance of warmth and kindness of the people of Brunei Darussalam.”