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 said that the Royal Brunei Armed Forces (RBAF), as a security institution, bears a huge responsibility in defending religion, the nation and the country.
“To achieve this objective requires a line of truly authoritative leaders. They must possess noble qualities as a chief or senior military officer in the Royal Brunei Armed Forces,” said His Majesty in a titah during a visit to the Ministry of Defence (MinDef) yesterday.
“They must also steer clear of negative elements, such as the inclination to build up their positions and power for their own benefit, rather than the interests of the country.
“As senior officers, it is their duty to ensure that every member is given fair treatment without resorting to the practice of favouritism, cronyism, and nepotism. It should be a priority, or a must for all, that there is no abuse of power or violation of any rules.
“But if that occurs, then no one should escape punishment. In other words, no one is above the law,” His Majesty said.
His Majesty continued, “Another matter of priority is for all levels of leadership to be responsible in empowering the spirituality of each member based on the core values of the RBAF, which are piety, courage, professionalism and loyalty.
“Through that, Insya Allah, blessings will be conferred upon the RBAF. I am convinced that if these values continue to be practised by all levels in the Armed Forces, these blessings will be magnified and all negative elements dispersed.
“This is why I believe that such noble values are essential, as part of the course and training curriculum.
“The next step is making efforts to bolster the image and credibility, for the RBAF to truly become a respected and revered organisation. To achieve this, all parties and levels within the force must always show solidarity and the will to work together, regardless of their respective areas of responsibility.
“All problems must be addressed through the proper channels in the chain of command, instead of being shared on social media, which can affect the integrity and reputation of the Royal Brunei Armed Forces.
“In this field of duty, all parties must not be apathetic (camah mata). Any shortcomings or weaknesses must be addressed together. The RBAF Care Centre was established for this very purpose in attending to all issues.
“In this respect, senior officers, in particular, should not be derelict. They should show sensitivity and commitment towards any problems and complaints coming from officers and subordinates.
“Senior officers are also responsible for ensuring the standards of officers and subordinates. It is also important for them to understand and know the level of standards that need to be achieved by the officers and subordinates.
“Meanwhile, the quality of young officers is more determined by the Officer Cadet School at the Defence Academy of the Royal Brunei Armed Forces, as an early education centre for officers.
“It is my hope that the centre will continue to produce disciplined and professional military officers, while at the same time capable of nurturing aspects of spirituality and genuine loyalty. This is especially true, given the 10 years of the centre’s establishment, during which it managed to train 2,216 officers, including 605 officer cadets.
“I am confident that the senior officers have so far been able to act wisely in implementing any plans, including the capacity to overcome all issues being faced by the personnel of the Royal Brunei Armed Forces. These are among the challenges to be addressed in the best possible way.
“With regard to challenges, this includes the challenge of maintaining the usability of the RBAF’s assets, which cannot be taken lightly. The capacity and readiness of these assets must always be at a high level.
“With this, I wish to remind that all levels in the RBAF must really make sure that the usability of these assets is always at a high level of readiness.
“In the era of the fourth industrial revolution, with the evolution of ever-growing advanced technology, the establishment of the Cyber Defence Unit in the RBAF should also be realised, considering that the RBAF will observe its 60th anniversary.
“In addition, it also serves as a buffer against cyber threats which can have serious implications for the level of operations and defence systems of Brunei Darussalam. From the aspects of defence and security, responsibility is a shared obligation that must be nurtured without compromise.
“Lastly, it is my hope that all senior officers will be able to carry out their duties with transparency and trust in upholding the country’s defence institutions, and in maintaining the security and well-being of Brunei Darussalam.”