Encroachment from neighbouring country into Brunei’s border untrue: Minister

|     James Kon     |

MINISTER of Foreign Affairs II Yang Berhormat Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Erywan bin Pehin Datu Pekerma Jaya Haji Mohd Yusof at the 15th Legislative Council (LegCo) session yesterday debunked the satellite image of an oil palm plantation that has encroached into the border of Brunei Darussalam.

He was answering a question led by LegCo member and Village Head of Kampong Labi I Yang Berhormat Hanapi bin Mohd Siput about a satellite image that shows an oil palm plantation from a neighbouring country having encroached the border of Brunei Darussalam which is areas of Sungai Tujoh in Kuala Belait. The Minister of Foreign Affairs II explained, “Public access apps like Google Maps or Google Earth that is free and is an estimation that can be used as basic reference. Therefore, the border between Brunei Darussalam and Malaysia that can be seen in Google Maps is incorrect in its position”.

“The oil palm plantation of the neighbouring country is actually outside of the boundary of Brunei Darussalam,” he said.

“An agreement was reached between 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 Prime Minister of Malaysia Tun Dato Laila Utama Dr Mahathir bin Mohamad in the recent meeting whereby both countries agreed not to undertake any activities in areas where a joint demarcation and survey involving mutual borders have yet to be completed. This is for the ease of carrying out work on the demarcation and survey of the land boundary by the joint technical committee of both countries,” he added.

If there is any encroachment into Brunei’s border, he said, “the Ministry of Foreign Affairs will raise the issue with the government of the neighbouring country and if needed, will issue a diplomatic note”.

Minister of Foreign Affairs II Yang Berhormat Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Erywan bin Pehin Datu Pekerma Jaya Haji Mohd Yusof. – RAHWANI ZAHARI