| Danial Norjidi |
FOOD security, agriculture and aquaculture are areas with potential for further collaboration between Brunei Darussalam and the Republic of Singapore.
Singapore’s Senior Minister of State for Defence and Foreign Affairs Dr Mohamad Maliki bin Osman shared this during an interview with the Bulletin on the sidelines of the Singapore High Commission’s Hari Raya Aidilfitri open house held yesterday at Royal Berkshire Hall, Royal Brunei Polo and Riding Club.
Speaking on opportunities for the two countries to further develop their relationship, Dr Mohamad Maliki said that following President of the Republic of Singapore Halimah Yacob’s State Visit last year, there is already movement in possible collaboration in relation to agriculture.
“We see agriculture as one of the potential low-hanging fruits. That’s really where I think Brunei has lots of potential,” he said.
“We saw the potential for aquaculture. So there’s also facilitating collaboration with the private sector, where one of our private sector companies is coming in to explore collaboration on developing aquaculture as a possibility. Agriculture is also another area.”
He continued, “In Singapore we’ve always looked at diversification of food and food sources as one of our strategies in managing food security. I also understand that Brunei is also equally concerned about the issues of food security, so we want to collaborate to see how best we can facilitate in the area of agriculture.
“We hope that these can be brought forward and that it could be the beginning of further collaboration in the economic sphere.”
From June 6-10, Dr Mohamad Maliki and Singaporean delegation are visiting open houses of Brunei’s Cabinet Ministers, deputy ministers and other senior Bruneian personalities.
Last Friday morning, Dr Mohamad Maliki and the delegation visited Istana Nurul Iman to personally convey the Hari Raya wishes of Singapore’s leaders 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 and Her Majesty Duli Raja Isteri Pengiran Anak Hajah Saleha binti Al-Marhum Pengiran Pemancha Pengiran Anak Haji Mohamed Alam as well as members of the royal family.
During yesterday’s interview, Dr Mohamad Maliki noted that this is his seventh year visiting Brunei Darussalam.
“It’s always good coming back to Brunei. Singapore and Brunei have a very special relationship. We’ve had this relationship for a long time and we want to continue to strengthen this relationship,” he said.
“This annual Hari Raya visit from us to Brunei is a reflection of our appreciation of this very special relationship. I’ve been visiting many of my friends in Brunei. Every year we have to come an extra day because we are making lots of new friends, and I think the spirit of friendship and strong relationship is very much manifested through a visit of this nature.”
The Singapore’s Minister of State added, “We want to continue to build that relationship. We hope to be able to find greater opportunities for Singapore and Brunei to be able to bring that relationship forward.”
Adding on, he said, “I also want to express my appreciation to His Majesty for accepting Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’s invitation on behalf of the Government of Singapore to attend Singapore’s Bicentennial celebrations in August this year. Singapore looks forward to hosting His Majesty when he visits later this year.”