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 Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin discussed the possible cooperation of Brunei Darussalam-Malaysia in vaccine diplomacy.
The cooperation would centre on three matters which include a reciprocal vaccination arrangement for both nationals covering diplomats, students and expatriates; ensuring access to vaccine supplies for both Brunei Darussalam and Malaysia; and a reciprocal mutual recognition of vaccination certificates between both nations as this step would facilitate cross-border movement of the people between both countries, the joint statement on the 23rd Annual Leaders’ Consultation between His Majesty and Malaysian Prime Minister stated.
The joint statement added: “His Majesty and Her Majesty Duli Raja Isteri Pengiran Anak Hajah Saleha binti Al-Marhum Pengiran Pemancha Pengiran Anak Haji Mohamed Alam warmly welcomed the Prime Minister and spouse Puan Sri Noorainee Abdul Rahman, for their first official visit to Brunei Darussalam on April 4 to yesterday.
“His Majesty and the Prime Minister also held the 23rd Annual Leaders’ Consultation, which was conducted in a cordial and productive atmosphere, demonstrating the long-standing relations between the two countries and peoples.
Reflecting on the important ties, both leaders reaffirmed their commitment to further nurture the special relationship by broadening and strengthening collaboration in an array of mutually beneficial areas. They also expressed appreciation on the continuous efforts to deepen exchanges and promote strategic cooperation in various fields under the respective bilateral mechanisms. Both leaders also welcomed the recent discussions between the foreign ministers during the official visit of Malaysia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Dato’ Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein to the Sultanate from February 28 to March 1.
The leaders recognised the profound impact of the COVID-19 pandemic upon the economy and social fabric of each other’s countries. In this regard, they reiterated their commitment to working closely together in addressing the common challenges, and underscored the importance of revitalising and protecting the socio-economic stability of both countries and peoples.
Both leaders reaffirmed their commitment to maintaining the movement of peoples during the COVID-19 pandemic by ensuring their safe cross-border movement, with the necessary safeguards in place so that public health concerns are addressed. In this regard, both sides have agreed in principle to establish a Reciprocal Green Lane (RGL), with effective COVID-19 prevention and control measures, to facilitate essential business and official travel between both countries.
The leaders further agreed for officials from both sides to undertake consultations on the draft standard operating procedures (SOP) of the proposed RGL.
The leaders noted the disruption of flight operations since March 2020 and looked forward to the resumption of air travel when the situation permits.
Both leaders also expressed their appreciation with the collaboration between the two governments, particularly in managing the repatriation of their respective citizens stranded in each other’s country and other countries during the COVID-19 pandemic. This is a testament to the close and enduring ties between the two countries and their peoples.
The leaders reaffirmed the significance of the Exchange of Letters signed by His Majesty and the Prime Minister of Malaysia on March 16, 2009. They reiterated the importance of the mechanism under the implementation of the Exchange of Letters led by the foreign ministers of both countries, and expressed hope that both sides would exert all efforts in advancing their work in this area.
The leaders were pleased with the long-standing collaboration between Petroleum Authority of Brunei Darussalam and PETRONAS, and expressed hope that both sides would step up efforts to further progress in their commercial arrangements, including monetisation discussions for viable development of the gas resources in the commercial arrangement areas.
The leaders welcomed the formalisation of the Unitisation Agreement (UA) between the Brunei National Unitisation Secretariat and PETRONAS, which would be a landmark agreement and signifies the strong cooperation between the two sides. The UA will provide a positive momentum to the oil and gas cooperation between both countries.
The leaders noted the latest developments on the joint demarcation and survey of the land boundary between Brunei Darussalam and Malaysia, and urged the Joint Technical Committee to undertake demarcation and survey work expeditiously, especially in agreed priority areas and areas of significant interest to the people of both countries.
They reaffirmed the agreement for both sides to not undertake any developmental activities in areas where joint demarcation and survey has yet to be completed. Both leaders further agreed to explore the possibility of establishing cooperation to carry out coordinated patrols to ensure among others, uninterrupted technical work in such areas. In this regard, the leaders tasked their respective Ministers of Foreign Affairs to ensure the convening of the first meeting of the Joint Brunei Darussalam-Malaysia Land Boundary Committee to discuss the findings of the Joint Land Boundary Technical Committee and to further strategise a concrete way forward on all related outstanding issues.
The leaders underscored the need to further enhance closer economic cooperation, especially between Brunei Darussalam and the states of Sabah and Sarawak. Both leaders also reiterated the importance of enhancing connectivity with the opening of the Sultan Haji Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien Bridge (bridge linking Brunei-Muara with Temburong) to facilitate greater international trade and investment opportunities between Brunei Darussalam and Malaysia as well as through the Brunei Darussalam-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines East ASEAN Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA). They also welcomed efforts to strengthen business-to-business engagement, including the signing of the memorandum of understanding (MoU) between the chambers of commerce and Industries of both countries which would cover economic cooperation and commercial exchanges.
The leaders underlined the importance of synergy in cooperation and promotion in other sectors such as agriculture, fisheries, education as well as connectivity, trade and tourism.
The leaders reaffirmed the importance of close defence ties between Brunei Darussalam and Malaysia, and expressed commitment to strengthen collaboration between the Royal Brunei Armed Forces (RBAF) and the Malaysian Armed Forces (MAF) in areas of strategic importance through regular exchanges of visits, training and military exercises.
In this regard, both leaders commended the continued participation of RBAF and MAF personnel in the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) and the International Monitoring Team (IMT) in Mindanao, Philippines, and their contribution towards preserving regional peace and security.
Both leaders noted the continuous involvement of defence officials to the Defence Services Asia Conference and Exhibition (DSA) in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, as well as the Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace Exhibition (LIMA) in Langkawi, Malaysia. The Malaysian Prime Minister looked forward to Brunei Darussalam’s continuous support for the 17th DSA in March 2022.
The two leaders also expressed satisfaction with the collaboration in ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting (ADMM), including through several initiatives such as the ASEAN Direct Communications Infrastructure (ADI), ADMM Logistics Support Framework, ASEAN Defence Interaction Programme (ADIP) and ASEAN Militaries Ready Group on Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (AMRG on HADR).
Both leaders expressed satisfaction with the steady progress made in agriculture, particularly on the importation of livestock and fresh produce from Sabah and Sarawak.
The two leaders emphasised the importance of strengthening cooperation in this area towards ensuring food supply chains and distribution functions efficiently.
Both leaders acknowledged the significant benefits of enhancing connectivity and collaboration in transport, particularly in facilitating the movement of goods and people. In this regard, the leaders looked forward to the signing of the MoU on Transport Cooperation, paving the way for enhanced partnership in areas such as safety, security, intelligent transport systems and logistics.
The leaders also looked forward to the early conclusion of a modernised Air Services Agreement between Brunei Darussalam and Malaysia.
Both leaders also looked forward to the renewal of the MoU on cooperation in the fields of youth and sports, signed in 2011, with the objective of enhancing collaboration in youth and sports development, including youth empowerment and leadership in both countries. This will reaffirm both countries’ commitment to further develop closer people-to-people ties among successive generations.
The leaders welcomed the signing of the MoU between the two governments on cooperation in disaster management, which would strengthen ties in this area, particularly through training, the conduct of joint exercises, operations and the exchange of expertise and information related to disaster prevention and risk reduction.
Both leaders reaffirmed their commitment to undertake mutual cooperation in the areas of information and communication technology, including multimedia and cybersecurity, and welcomed the progress made towards finalising the MoU on info-communications media.
His Majesty congratulated the Prime Minister on Malaysia’s successful Chairmanship of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) last year, with the endorsement of the 2020 Kuala Lumpur Declaration and APEC Putrajaya Vision 2040. Both leaders envision an open, dynamic, resilient and peaceful Asia-Pacific Community by 2040, for the prosperity of all of the people in the region.
Malaysia congratulated Brunei Darussalam on assuming the ASEAN Chairmanship and its apt theme for the year – “We Care, We Prepare, We Prosper”. Both leaders looked forward to working closely together with other ASEAN member states on harnessing the caring nature of ASEAN to build a harmonious and resilient ASEAN community with the people at its centre; preparing and adapting for future challenges and threats to ensure ASEAN remains relevant and resilient; and creating opportunities for people to benefit through initiatives that enhance the sustainable prosperity of the region. Malaysia reaffirmed its fullest support and cooperation to take forward Brunei Darussalam’s key priorities and deliverables under its chairmanship.
Both leaders exchanged views on a number of regional and international issues of mutual interest and expressed serious concern on the ongoing crisis in Myanmar and the rising number of fatalities. They urged all parties to refrain from instigating further violence, and for all sides to immediately exercise utmost restraint and flexibility.The leaders called on all parties concerned to seek a peaceful solution and pursue constructive dialogue, reconciliation and quickly return to normalcy in accordance with the will and interests of the people of Myanmar and for the greater peace, security and stability of the region. The leaders also recalled the purposes and principles enshrined in the ASEAN Charter, and emphasised that it remains in ASEAN’s greater interest to see Myanmar resolve the crisis and regain stability.
The leaders reaffirmed ASEAN’s readiness to assist Myanmar, including through the good offices of the Chairman of ASEAN and the Secretary-General of ASEAN in a positive, peaceful and constructive manner.
In this regard, both leaders agreed for ASEAN leaders to meet to discuss the ongoing developments in Myanmar and tasked their respective ministers and senior officials to undertake preparations for the meeting that will be held at the ASEAN Secretariat in Jakarta, Indonesia.
Both leaders also agreed to advance ASEAN’s proactive and outward-looking approach in the conduct of ASEAN’s external relations based on shared interests, constructive engagements and mutual benefits, which can contribute to ASEAN’s community-building. In this regard, both leaders welcomed the application of the United Kingdom to become a dialogue partner of ASEAN as well as the applications of Bangladesh and the United Arab Emirates to be sectoral dialogue partners of ASEAN.
His Majesty expressed his warmest greetings to all Malaysians celebrating the upcoming holy month of Ramadhan.
The Prime Minister of Malaysia returned the greeting, and wished all Bruneians observing the holy month a happy Ramadhan Al-Mubarak.
Both leaders expressed satisfaction with the outcome of their meeting and looked forward to the implementation of the decisions reached for a much-strengthened bilateral relationship and cooperation between Brunei Darussalam and Malaysia.
The leaders agreed to hold the 24th Annual Leaders’ Consultation in Malaysia in 2022.