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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 has consented to send a message of congratulations to the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, His Majesty King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud, King of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and members of the Royal Family as well as the Government and people of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia on the occasion of its National Day.

News courtesy of Radio Television Brunei
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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 in the titah says Brunei Darussalam continues its pledge to work together with all United Nations, UN member states and carry out the commitment and responsibilities to ensure that the world and its people will continue to live in peace, to develop and progress. His Majesty underlines the matter in a titah at the High Level Meeting to commemorate the 75th Anniversary of the United Nations early yesterday morning.

In the titah, His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam stresses the need for the members to make UN better, more cost-effective and more empowered to support multilateralism, and a world order based on the universal rule of law, in ensuring the organisation remains relevant for all. In the titah, His Majesty joins UN members in congratulating His Excellency Volkan Bozkir on his election as the 75th President of the UN General Assembly. The Monarch also extends best wishes for the government and the people of Brunei Darussalam in the spirit of peace and solidarity, and condolences as well as sympathies to all those affected by the COVID-19 virus. Touching on UN's achievement to remain relevant for three quarters of a century, His Majesty says it is certainly a remarkable achievement for any grouping, let alone a large organisation like the UN.

News courtesy of Radio Television Brunei
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The National Development Plan, NDP, Executive Committee Meeting among others discussed on projects and the national development plans. His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam graced and chaired the meeting. The meeting took place yesterday morning at Istana Nurul Iman.

Upon arrival His Majesty was greeted by Yang Berhormat Dato Seri Setia Doctor Awang Haji Mohd Amin Liew bin Abdullah, Minister at the Prime Minister's Office and Second Minister of Finance and Economy and the NDP Executive Committee members. Also in attendance was His Royal Highness Prince Haji Al-Muhtadee Billah ibni His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu'izzaddin Waddaulah, the Crown Prince and Senior Minister at the Prime Minister's Office.

Yang Berhormat Dato Seri Setia Doctor Awang Haji Mohd Amin Liew, Minister at the Prime Minister's Office and Second Minister of Finance and Economy in his welcoming remark expressed his gratitude for His Majesty's presence in the meeting. The monarch's presence is highly valued towards the efforts implemented in making a success of the national development plan, contributing towards the growth of the nation's socio-economy and to become one of the platforms to meet the target of Wawasan Brunei 2035, which clearly reflects His Majesty's concern towards the implementation of effective national development projects that benefits the country.

The reading of Surah Al-Fatihah and Doa was led by Yang Berhormat Dato Seri Setia Engineer Awang Haji Suhaimi bin Haji Gafar, Minister of Development.

The NDP Executive Committee Meeting was the first for 2020.

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During the unscheduled visit to the Ministry of Religious Affairs yesterday morning, His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu'izzaddin Waddaulah ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Haji Omar Ali Saifuddien Sa'adul Khairi Waddien, the Sultan and Yang di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam took a closer look at the departments and sections under the ministry.

The Ministry of Religious Affairs plays a role as the pioneer of religious services and is responsible in all matters related to Islam aside from playing a role in planning, implementing, evaluating programmes and activities in the interest of Islam in the country. Earlier, the monarch visited the Haj Management Department which has a role as the medium for the government of His Majesty and related parties to facilitate the handling of matters related to haj and umrah.

The Finance Section was among the sections visited by the monarch. His Majesty then visited the Islamic Legal Unit. Established under the Brunei Islamic Religious Council Section, the unit is responsible in handling the requirements of the Islamic Religious Council and Kadis Court Act, Chapter 77 as well as other laws related with the Brunei Islamic Religious Council. Apart from that, the unit also drafts laws related to religious and current issues.

The Public Relations and International as well as MABBIM Section established on 2nd January 2013 also gained the monarch's attention. The Brunei Islamic Religious Council Department plays a role in helping to provide policy and legal affairs related to the interests of the Muslim ummah and Islam, administration affairs and tithe management, Baitul Mal and Wakaf or Endowment; research on Islamic issues and administering and implementing the requirements of the Act Chapter 77 as well as other Acts or Orders linked to the Islamic Religious Council.

The monarch also visited the Human Resources and Planning Section responsible in providing training and courses for workforce development. At the Housing Unit, His Majesty was given a briefing on the management of government houses under the Ministry of Religious Affairs.

The monarch continued the visit by taking a closer look at the Islamic Propagation Development Section and Library. With a vision of empowering Islam as the official religion and its practices as a complete and proper way of life, the Section continues to develop and enhance Islamic propagation through celebrations of Major Islamic Events.

The ministry's library is responsible in finding and obtaining, gathering, storing and providing various reference materials related to Islamic affairs and knowledge locally and abroad. As an Islamic reference centre for the public, the library is a collaboration between public and specialised libraries in the country.

Enhancing information technology services in the delivery of Islamic services, education and information which are integrated with a systematic and organised management guided by the Strategic Plan and based on the e-government policy is the mission of the Information Technology Section. Meanwhile, the mission of the Administration Department is to strengthen the management of services, human resources planning and development as well as finance in a systematic, quality, efficient, effective and dynamic manner.

Religious services under His Majesty's leadership always places Islam as the main core at the highest position in the monarch's reign. The Baitulmal and Zakat Fitrah or Tithe Unit, and Tithe Distribution and Collection Section were also given a closer look by the monarch. The Brunei Islamic Religious Council, MUIB Department among other matters plays a role in ensuring the implementation of tithe among Muslims in the country is carried out properly and in a protected manner. His Majesty then visited the Brunei Islamic Religious Council Department in the ministry's new building.

In realising Wawasan Brunei 2035, religious services also play a vital role for the country's people. His Majesty's visit ensures that the Ministry of Religious Affairs is sensitive and attentive to matters handled by His Majesty's government apart from efforts to make a success of the mission and vision of the ministry and the departments under it.

News courtesy of Radio Television Brunei
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​From the Ministry of Religious Affairs, His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam then visited Julangan Titah Graduan Bersepadu located at Jalan Bunga Teratai, Kampung Jaya Setia, Perpindahan Berakas. 

Upon arrival, His Majesty was greeted by Awang Zaman bin Haji Gapar, Chairman of the Graduan Bersepadu Operations and Management Working Committee. Graduan Bersepadu Sendirian Berhad which started its services last Sunday, was established as an effort and initiative organised for the first time to provide opportunities to graduates from various academic backgrounds to be in service to society through entrepreneurship or business.

With 5 subsidiaries in different fields, Graduan Bersepadu is handled by 53 local graduates. The subsidiaries are Sajian Graduan, Pasaria Graduan, Designer Graduan, Pustaka Graduan and Tutor Graduan. The Graduan Bersepadu project is hoped to produce independent graduates, and simultaneously build a self-sufficient society in facing the various challenges of the 4th industrial revolution. His Majesty first visited the Sajian Graduan Unit. The unit carries the concept of a modern-style cafe offering over 70 dishes. The unit's staff comprise local graduates who have completed their studies in various fields from local and overseas universities.

Pasaria Graduan which is handled fully by local graduates from various academic backgrounds, offers daily necessities from quality dry and wet goods, which fulfils food safety standards.

Designer Graduan was also a point of attention in the monarch's visit. Designer Graduan is one of the subsidiaries under Graduan Bersepadu, offering services as a boutique and tailor. It is operated by 5 graduates from various backgrounds with the guidance of the board of directors and trained by a renowned company in design and tailoring.

Meanwhile, Pustaka Graduan is operated by graduates with differing backgrounds namely Sultan Sharif Ali Islamic University, UNISSA; Seri Begawan Religious Teachers University College, KUPU SB; Universiti Brunei Darussalam, UBD; Universiti Teknologi Brunei, UTB and Laksmana College of Business.

Eleven tutors from various fields as well as local and overseas universities are operating Tutor Graduan. The Tutor Graduan teaching workforce are trained comprehensively by lecturers from Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah Education Institute, UBD and introduced to appropriate teaching theories inline with the Brunei Teachers Standard.

His Majesty's visit certainly drives youths to fulfil the high hopes placed on them. This includes their meaningful contributions to the country and nation's development and progress, and at the same time prepare them to become a valuable asset to the country.

News courtesy of Radio Television Brunei
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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 has consented to send a congratulatory message to His Excellency Yoshihide Suga, on his appointment as Prime Minister of Japan following his recent victory in the Liberal Democratic Party leadership's election.

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His Royal Highness Prince Haji Al-Muhtadee Billah ibni His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu'izzaddin Waddaulah, the Crown Prince and Senior Minister at the Prime Minister's Office, received in audience outgoing High Commissioner of Republic of Singapore to Brunei Darussalam; newly-appointed High Commissioner of Brunei Darussalam to Republic of Singapore; and newly-appointed Foreign Envoys to Brunei Darussalam in separate audiences. The Audience ceremonies took place at Qashr Al-Meezaan, yesterday morning.

His Royal Highness first received in audience His Excellency Lim Hong Huai, High Commissioner of Republic of Singapore to Brunei Darussalam. His Excellency presented his Letter of Credence to His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam on 23rd March 2016.

His Royal Highness next received in audience His Excellency Dato Paduka Haji Sidek bin Ali, High Commissioner of Brunei Darussalam to the Republic of Singapore. His Excellency received his Letter of Credence from His Majesty on 10th September 2020.

His Royal Highness then received in separate audiences the newly-appointed Foreign Envoys to Brunei Darussalam. His Royal Highness first received in audience Her Excellency Gerda Winkler, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Federal Republic of Germany to Brunei Darussalam. Also present was Mr. Thomas Heilmaier, Deputy Head of Mission of the Federal Republic of Germany in Brunei Darussalam.

His Royal Highness next received in audience His Excellency John Virgoe, British High Commissioner to Brunei Darussalam. Accompanying His Excellency was Ms. Natalie Gowers- Barnes, Deputy British Commissioner to Brunei Darussalam.

His Royal Highness then received in audience Her Excellency Tiffany Anne McDonald, High Commissioner of Australia to Brunei Darussalam. Also present was Ms. Chintana Vongpaseuth, Deputy High Commissioner of Australia to Brunei Darussalam. The newly-appointed Foreign Envoys to Brunei Darussalam presented their Letters of Credence to His Majesty on 10th September 2020.

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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 presented a Letter of Credence to Brunei Darussalam's newly-appointed High Commissioner and received Letters of Credence from newly-appointed Foreign Envoys to Brunei Darussalam. The ceremonies took place yesterday afternoon at the Istana Nurul Iman.

His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam first presented a Letter of Credence to His Excellency Dato Paduka Haji Sidek bin Ali, High Commissioner of Brunei Darussalam to the Republic of Singapore. 

His Majesty then received Letters of Credence from Her Excellency Gerda Winkler, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Federal Republic of Germany to Brunei Darussalam His Excellency John Virgoe, British High Commissioner to Brunei Darussalam and Her Excellency Tiffany Anne McDonald, High Commissioner of Australia to Brunei Darussalam.

After the ceremony, His Majesty received in audience the High Commissioner of Brunei Darussalam to the Republic of Singapore. His Majesty also received in separate audiences the newly-appointed Foreign Envoys to Brunei Darussalam.

His Majesty first received in audience Her Excellency Gerda Winkler, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Federal Republic of Germany to Brunei Darussalam. Accompanying Her Excellency was Mr. Thomas Heilmaier, Deputy Head of Mission of the Federal Republic of Germany in Brunei Darussalam.

His Majesty next received in audience His Excellency John Virgoe, British High Commissioner to Brunei Darussalam. Accompanying His Excellency was Ms. Natalie Gowers-Barnes, British Deputy High Commissioner to Brunei Darussalam. 

His Majesty then received in audience Her Excellency Tiffany Anne McDonald, High Commissioner of Australia to Brunei Darussalam. Accompanying Her Excellency was Lieutenant Colonel Daniel Hauser, Assistant Defence Advisor, High Commission of Australia in Brunei Darussalam.

​Also present at the ceremony were Yang Berhormat Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Erywan bin Pehin Datu Pekerma Jaya Haji Mohd. Yusof, Second Minister of Foreign Affairs; Yang Berhormat Pehin Orang Kaya Shahbandar Dato Seri Setia Haji Awang Mohd. Nawawi bin Allahyarham Pehin Orang Kaya Shahbandar Haji Awang Mohd. Taha, Private and Confidential Secretary to His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam; Yang Amat Mulia Pengiran Penggawa Laila Bentara Istiadat Diraja Dalam Istana Pengiran Haji Alauddin bin Pengiran Paduka Tuan Pengiran Haji Abu Bakar, Grand Chamberlain; and Dato Paduka Awang Haji Mohd. Nor bin Haji Jeludin, Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

News courtesy of Radio Television Brunei
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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 received in audience His Excellency General Wei Fenghe, State Councillor and Minister of National Defence of the People's Republic of China. The audience ceremony took place at Istana Nurul Iman. Accompanying His Excellency were Her Excellency Yu Hong, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the People's Republic of China to Brunei Darussalam; Lieutenant General (Air Force) Jia Zhigang, Deputy Commander of the Southern Theater Command; Major General Song Yanchao, Deputy Chief of the Office for International Military Cooperation of Central Military Commission, OIMC; Major General Liu Yantong, Director General of Research Bureau of General Office of Central Military Commission; and Colonel Jiang Bin, Staff of Asian Affairs Bureau, OIMC.

Defence and military cooperation between Brunei Darussalam and the People's Republic of China were strengthened through the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding on Military Exchanges on the 12th of September 2003, and further bolstered through the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding on Strengthening Defence Cooperation on the 13th of September 2017. 

News courtesy of Radio Television Brunei
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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 in the titah says COVID-19 has undoubtedly changed the way in which governments and national parliaments respond to ever-changing norms and unprecedented challenges. His Majesty says its indefinite nature calls for urgent actions to protect the interest of the people whilst emphasising the importance of remaining united and integrated within the ASEAN community. The titah of His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam is in the content of His Majesty's message in conjunction with the 41st General Assembly of the ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly, AIPA.

His Majesty stresses that AIPA, along with its existing strategic partners, also has an important role in formulating and executing effective strategies to foster an outward-looking ASEAN Community that can respond collectively and constructively to issues of common concern. The Monarch says that together, we can create a more sustainable and resilient ASEAN with improved capacity to embrace positive transformation. His Majesty underlines that Brunei Darussalam shall continue to support the work of AIPA towards this end.

Touching on the theme for the 41st AIPA General Assembly, which is 'Parliamentary Diplomacy for Cohesive and Responsive ASEAN', His Majesty in the titah states that the theme is in tandem with ASEAN's vision which calls for a Cohesive and Responsive ASEAN. It brings attention to the need to strengthen regional solidarity in responding effectively to challenges as stipulated in both the ASEAN Charter as well as the ASEAN Community Vision 2025. In addition, parliamentary diplomacy enhances AIPA's role in supporting ASEAN through increasing mutual understanding between countries and better representation of the people.

The Monarch also notes that the agenda for the 41st AIPA General Assembly this year will highlight COVID-19 responses and recovery efforts in relation to the economy, social security and peace and stability in the region. In ending the message, His Majesty strongly believes that AIPA will be able to help ASEAN endure these challenging times and emerge as a more resilient community.

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His Royal Highness Prince Haji Al-Muhtadee Billah ibni His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah, the Crown Prince and Senior Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office, today hosted a dinner on behalf of His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam at Qashr Al-Meezaan, in honour of the Special Envoy of His Majesty Sultan Ibrahim ibni Almarhum Sultan Iskandar, Sultan Yang Di-Pertuan of Johor Darul Ta’zim, led by His Royal Highness Tunku Ismail ibni Sultan Ibrahim, the Crown Prince of Johor.

Present at the Dinner were His Royal Highness Prince ‘Abdul Malik; His Highness Tunku Idris Iskandar Al-Haj ibni Sultan Ibrahim, the Tunku Temenggong of Johor; His Highness Tunku Abdul Rahman Al-Haj ibni Sultan Ibrahim, the Tunku Panglima of Johor; and His Royal Highness Prince Haji Jefri Bolkiah.

Also present at the Dinner from both sides were Yang Amat Mulia Pengiran Lela Cheteria Sahibun Najabah Pengiran Anak Haji Abdul Aziz bin Pengiran Jaya Negara Pengiran Haji Abu Bakar, the Yang Di-Pertua of Adat Istiadat Negara; Yang Berhormat Major General (Retired) Dato Paduka Seri Awang Haji Aminuddin Ihsan bin Pehin Orang Kaya Saiful Mulok Dato Seri Paduka Haji Abidin, Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports; Yang Berhormat Pehin Datu Seri Maharaja Dato Paduka Seri Setia (Dr.) Ustaz Haji Awang Abdul Aziz bin Juned, the State Mufti; Yang Amat Mulia Pengiran Penggawa Laila Bentara Istiadat Diraja Dalam Istana Pengiran Haji Alauddin bin Pengiran Paduka Tuan Pengiran Haji Abu Bakar, the Grand Chamberlain; Yang Berhormat Dato’ Haji Abdul Rahim bin Ramli, the Yang Di-Pertua of the Johor Council of Royal Court; Yang Berhormat Dato’ Haji Azmi bin Rohani, the Secretary of the State of Johor, Yang Berhormat Dato’ Haji Abdul Latiff bin Yusof, the Secretary of the Johor Council of Royal Court; and Sohibus Samahah Yang Berhormat Dato’ Haji Yahya bin Haji Ahmad, the State Mufti of Johor.

Photo courtesy of Information Department, Prime Minister’s Office

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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, this afternoon received in audience the Special Envoy of His Majesty Sultan Ibrahim ibni Almarhum Sultan Iskandar, Sultan Yang Di-Pertuan of Johor Darul Ta’zim, led by His Royal Highness Tunku Ismail ibni Sultan Ibrahim, the Crown Prince of Johor. The Envoy also included His Highness Tunku Idris Iskandar Al-Haj ibni Sultan Ibrahim, the Tunku Temenggong of Johor and His Highness Tunku Abdul Rahman Al-Haj ibni Sultan Ibrahim, the Tunku Panglima of Johor.

Present at the Audience Ceremony were His Royal Highness Prince Haji Al-Muhtadee Billah, the Crown Prince and Senior Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office; His Royal Highness Prince ‘Abdul Malik and His Royal Highness Prince Haji Jefri Bolkiah.

At the Audience Ceremony, His Royal Highness Tunku Ismail ibni Sultan Ibrahim, the Crown Prince of Johor presented a ‘Warkah Perutusan’ from His Majesty the Sultan Yang    Di-Pertuan of Johor Darul Ta’zim to His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam. At the same Ceremony, the Crown Prince of Johor also presented a ‘Warkah Perutusan’ from His Majesty the Sultan Yang Di-Pertuan of Johor Darul Ta’zim to His Royal Highness the Crown Prince and Senior Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office.

Also present at the Audience Ceremony from both sides were Yang Amat Mulia Pengiran Lela Cheteria Sahibun Najabah Pengiran Anak Haji Abdul Aziz bin Pengiran Jaya Negara Pengiran Haji Abu Bakar, the Yang Di-Pertua of Adat Istiadat Negara; Yang Berhormat Major General (Retired) Dato Paduka Seri Awang Haji Aminuddin Ihsan bin Pehin Orang Kaya Saiful Mulok Dato Seri Paduka Haji Abidin, Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports; Yang Berhormat Pehin Datu Seri Maharaja Dato Paduka Seri Setia (Dr.) Ustaz Haji Awang Abdul Aziz bin Juned, the State Mufti; Yang Amat Mulia Pengiran Penggawa Laila Bentara Istiadat Diraja Dalam Istana Pengiran Haji Alauddin bin Pengiran Paduka Tuan Pengiran Haji Abu Bakar, the Grand Chamberlain; Yang Berhormat Dato’ Haji Abdul Rahim bin Ramli, the Yang Di-Pertua of the Johor Council of Royal Court; Yang Berhormat Dato’ Haji Azmi bin Rohani, the Secretary of the State of Johor, Yang Berhormat Dato’ Haji Abdul Latiff bin Yusof, the Secretary of the Johor Council of Royal Court; and Sohibus Samahah Yang Berhormat Dato’ Haji Yahya bin Haji Ahmad, the State Mufti of Johor.

The Audience Ceremony took place at Istana Nurul Iman.

Photo courtesy of Information Department, Prime Minister’s Office

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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, this afternoon received in audience His Excellency Air Vice Marshal (Retired) Mahmud Hussain, outgoing High Commissioner of Bangladesh to Brunei Darussalam.

His Excellency presented his Letter of Credence 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 on 15th February 2017.

The Audience Ceremony took place at Istana Nurul Iman.

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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, yesterday afternoon received in separate audiences the outgoing Foreign Envoys to Brunei Darussalam. The audience ceremony took place at Istana Nurul Iman. His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam first received in audience His Excellency Richard Lindsay, British High Commissioner to Brunei Darussalam.


His Excellency presented his Letter of Credence to His Majesty the on 10th August 2017. Also present was Ms Natalie Gowers-Barnes, Deputy British High Commissioner and Group Captain Graeme Davis, Defence Advisor of the United Kingdom to Brunei  Darussalam.

His Majesty next received in audience His Excellency Peter Hermann Wolff, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Federal Republic of Germany to Brunei Darussalam. His Excellency also presented his Letter of Credence to His Majesty on the 10th August 2017.

His Majesty then received in audience Her Excellency Nicola Rosenblum, High Commissioner of Australia to Brunei Darussalam. Her Excellency presented her Letter of Credence to His Majesty on the 25th October 2016. Accompanying Her Excellency was Chintana Vongsapeuth, Deputy High Commissioner of Australia.


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In the titah, the Monarch also highlights the benefits of Qunut Nazilah which is read during Friday prayer. It has been several Fridays that the doa qunut has not be read during prayer and His Majesty urges that it be recited while performing the five obligatory prayers at home.

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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 in a titah stated the importance of ASEAN to work together to keep economic activities alive and also learn from the COVID-19 crisis to be better prepared for future health emergencies. Enhanced cooperation across all Community Pillars is necessary to strengthen ASEAN's resilience. To this end, His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam highlighted on the urgency for accelerating intra-ASEAN trade in preparing the region for post-COVID-19 recovery. 

His Majesty made the titah during the video conferences for the Special ASEAN Summit on COVID-19 and Special ASEAN Plus Three Summit on COVID-19, together with other ASEAN leaders and dialogue partners, the People's Republic of China, Japan and the Republic of Korea. Both video conferences took place at Baitul Mesyuarah, Istana Nurul Iman.

The Special ASEAN Summit took place in the morning and began with the opening speech by His Excellency Nguyen Xuan Phuc, Prime Minister of the Socialist republic of Viet Nam as the ASEAN Chair for 2020.

At the Special Summit, His Majesty in a titah stated that further ASEAN Solidarity is needed in facing the unprecedented challenges brought by COVID-19.

In the Summit, leaders were presented a report from the Chairman of the ASEAN Coordinating Council on ASEAN efforts in handling the COVID-19 by His Excellency Pham Binh Minh, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam. Leaders of ASEAN also approved several recommendations to address the COVID-19 Pandemic, which include establishing the COVID-19 ASEAN Response Fund; developing harmonised guidelines for response to public health emergencies; enhancing communication and cooperation to address fake news; minimising the economic impact of COVID-19; continued social protection and developing a post-pandemic recovery plan.

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His Royal Highness Prince Haji Al-Muhtadee Billah ibni His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu'izzaddin Waddaulah, The Crown Prince and Senior Minister at the Prime Minister's Office yesterday made a working visit to the Australian Collins Class Submarine, HMAS Dechaineux which is docked at Muara Commercial Wharf. HMAS Dechaineux is the first submarine to dock in Brunei Darussalam and is in the country from the 7th March to Monday.

Upon arrival, His Royal Highness The Crown Prince was greeted by Yang Berhormat Yang Berhormat Pehin Datu Lailaraja Retired Major General Dato Paduka Seri Haji Awang Halbi bin Haji Mohd Yusof, Second Minister of Defence; Major General Pengiran Dato Paduka Seri Aminan bin Pengiran Haji Mahmud, Commander of the Royal Brunei Armed Forces; Her Excellency Nicola Rosenblum, High Commissioner of Australia to Brunei Darussalam and Retired Brigadier General Dato Seri Pahlawan Shahril Anwar bin Haji Ma'awiah, Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Defence.

Shortly after the arrival, His Royal Highness boarded the submarine and toured the Senior Sailors Mess; Control Room; Weapon Storage Compartment; Junior Sailors Mess; Motor Generator Room; and Machinery Control Room.

HMAS Dechaineux which is based at Fleet Base West in Western Australia is the fourth Collins Class submarine that was commissioned for service in the Royal Australian Navy on 23 February 2001.  The submarine is capable of accommodating 38 sailors and 10 Officers.  It is one of the first submarines which was designed with computers. HMAS Dechaineux also boasts a range of features including high-performance hull form, highly automated controls, high shock resistance as well as efficient weapons handling and discharge system.

At the end of the tour, His Royal Highness took a group photo and received a plaque as well as pasambah from the Chief of Navy of the Royal Australian Navy and the Commanding Officer of the HMAS Dechaineux. His Royal Highness also presented plaques to the two officers.

News courtesy of Radio Television Brunei
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The First Meeting of the 16th Legislative Council Session starts yesterday with 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 in the titah stressed on the importance of reviewing human resource policies as an effective measure to increase job opportunities and tackle unemployment issues. Towards this, His Majesty has consented for the Manpower Planning and Employment Council, MPEC to be placed at the Prime Minister's Office. His Majesty also consented for the establishment of the Temburong District Development Authority, AKDT for generating the economy and improving the quality of life for citizens and residents in Temburong District.

In the titah at the Opening Ceremony of the First Meeting of the 16th Legislative Council, His Majesty also stressed on the need for the Legislative Council to be further empowered as some of the members are more towards asking question rather than giving out ideas or proposals that makes the deliberation less interesting. In the titah, the Monarch also touches on various aspects of economy that are currently facing uncertainty, further worsened with the world geo-political unrest and the COVID-19 outbreak. However, His Majesty says the country is still capable of recording encouraging growth rate, apart from enjoying a number of reformations in the aspect of infrastructure and policies. 

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His Majesty News
  



The Opening Ceremony of the First Meeting of the 16th Legislative Council session commenced with full tradition at the Dewan Majlis Building in Jalan Dewan Majlis. This marks the start of deliberations on the Supply Bill for the Financial Year 2020/2021.

Upon arrival, His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam was greeted by Yang Berhormat Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Lela Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Abdul Rahman bin Dato Setia Haji Mohamed Taib, Speaker of the Legislative Council.

Shortly after arriving, His Majesty received the Royal Salute mounted by 108 personnel of the Royal Brunei Police Force led by Superintendent of Police Haji Mahran bin Haji Ahmad, Parade Commanding Officer.
 
Also present were His Majesty's son and brothers:

His Royal Highness Prince Haji Al-Muhtadee Billah, the Crown Prince and Senior Minister at the Prime Minister's Office as Ex-Officio Member;

His Royal Highness Prince Mohamed Bolkiah;

His Royal Highness Prince Haji Sufri Bolkiah; and

His Royal Highness Prince Haji Jefri Bolkiah.

Established according to Article 23 of the Brunei Darussalam 1959 Constitution and the members appointed according to Article 24, the Legislative Council was dissolved in 1984 and was re-established in 2004. The re-establishment was in conjunction with His Majesty's 58th birthday celebration on the 15th of July 2004.

His Majesty's arrival at Dewan Persidangan, Dewan Majlis was accompanied by the procession bringing in the Ceremonial Mace of the Legislative Council. The Members of the Legislative Council comprised of Cabinet Ministers; Titled Persons; Persons Who Have Achieved Distinction; and District Representatives who symbolise Brunei Darussalam's unity and solidarity. This is also a proof to the world that the country also practices a democratic system with the Bruneian mould through muzakarah and meetings based on the Malay Islamic Monarchy, MIB concept.

The Doa Selamat was recited by Yang Berhormat Pehin Datu Seri Maharaja Dato Paduka Seri Setia Doctor Ustaz Haji Awang Abdul Aziz bin Juned, State Mufti.

Apart from deliberating and approving the national budget, the Legislative Council session is highly significant and symbolic on the importance of the citizen's voice and aspirations, in together thinking and deciding on the nation's direction for mutual interest and well-being. The session among other matters highlights several foci such as the implementation of strategies for sustainable economic growth towards diversifying the country's economy and update all policies, regulations as well as procedures to be transparent and orderly.

Despite the current uncertain economic situation, the country is still able to record an encouraging growth rate as well as implementing several reforms in infrastructure and policies. Throughout 2019, the nation achieved a number of important accomplishments.  However, it cannot be complacent and should look far ahead. Hence, the Legislative Council Meeting will be a strategic platform for thinking of and debating matters that are needed by the people and country. 

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His Majesty News
  



Yesterday afternoon's session, the meeting deliberated on the 2020/2021 budget for the Prime Minister's Office and the departments under it of a sum of 431 million 520 thousand 380 dollars. Yang Berhormat Dato Seri Setia Haji Awang Abdul Mokti bin Haji Mohd Daud, Minister at the Prime Minister's Office in deliberating the budget explained that the Prime Minister's Office's action plans and planning are based on the Financial Year 2020/2021 budget theme and focus which highlights three points.

Yang Berhormat said these include investment activities and business facilitation. In efforts to uphold such activities, a number of initiatives have been carried out including planning and continuous measures by the Prime Minister's Office in line with the Ease of Doing Business, EODB initiative. In this regard, the Prime Minister's Office through the Management Services Department will continue programmes such as customer focus surveys, Client's Charter, Public Sector Performance Frading Programme and Premier Innovation Award. This is in line with efforts towards facilitating business, building public administration efficiency and efficacy as well as encouraging innovation. Secondly is human resources that are competent and employable. Efforts that will be implemented include continuing capacity leadership programmes under the Civil Service Leadership Pipeline, CSLP. Third, maintaining public well-being. This includes focusing on the facilities and basic requirements for certain groups including the poor and destitute. 

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'Menjayakan Wawasan Negara Menurut Perspektif Islam' or Making a Success of Wawasan Negara According to the Islamic Perspective, was the title of the tazkrah or Dawn Talk in conjunction with the 'Masjidku Ma'mur, Negara Berkat' programme conducted by the Ministry of Religious Affairs, and Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports supported by the Prime Minister's Office. The talk took place early this morning at Omar 'Ali Saifuddien Mosque in the capital.

Among those present were Yang Berhormat Pehin Datu Lailaraja Retired Major General Dato Paduka Seri Haji Awang Halbi bin Haji Mohd. Yussof, Second Minister of Defence; Yang Berhormat Dato Seri Setia Haji Awang Abdul Mokti bin Haji Mohd Daud, Minister at the Prime Minister's Office; Yang Berhormat Retired Major General Dato Paduka Seri Haji Aminuddin Ihsan bin Pehin Orang Kaya Saiful Mulok Dato Seri Paduka Haji Abidin, Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports and Yang Berhormat Dato Seri Setia Ingenieur Awang Haji Suhaimi bin Haji Ghafar, Minister of Development. The talk delivered by Doctor Haji Ismuhadi bin Haji Abdullah, Da'ie from Islamic Dakwah Centre among other matters stated that performing religious deeds in the mosque as well performing prayers in a congregation has a higher blessing than performing prayers alone.

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His Royal Highness Prince Haji Al-Muhtadee Billah ibni His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu'izzaddin Waddaulah, the Crown Prince and Senior Minister at the Prime Minister's Office in a sabda said that undivided loyalty towards the Monarch as well as honesty, trustworthiness and responsibility to the leadership is the core of the Royal Brunei Police Force, in together defending the purity of the religion, people's solidarity as well as maintaining the country's peace and sovereignty. His Royal Highness the Crown Prince made the sabda at the 99th Police Day Parade yesterday morning. The ceremony took place at the Police Training Centre's Parade Ground in Gadong.

Upon arrival, His Royal Highness was greeted by Dato Paduka Seri Haji Mohammad Irwan bin Haji Hambali, Commissioner of the Royal Brunei Police Force, and Pengiran Dato Seri Pahlawan Haji Mohd Jefri bin Pengiran Haji Abdul Hamid, Deputy Commissioner of the Royal Brunei Police Force.

Also in attendance was Her Royal Highness Princess Hajah Masna binti Al-Marhum Sultan Haji Omar 'Ali Saifuddien Sa'adul Khairi Waddien, Commandant of Women's Police.

Shortly after arriving, His Royal Highness received the Royal Salute. His Royal Highness then inspected the Guard of Honour mounted by one thousand 21 personnel under the Superintendent of Police Haji Hamri Aslan bin Haji Abu Hanafiah, Parade Commanding Officer. 

In the Sabda, His Royal Highness reminded every personnel to always instil a sense of purpose and urgency through the practice of a working culture with goals and immediate action in order to cultivate the Police Force trust. 

His Royal Highness in his sabda also stressed that every effort and action must be based with supplication and belief towards Allah Subhanahu Wata'ala so that the country will always be given guidance as well as under Allah's protection and blessing. In the global arena, His Royal Highness was pleased for the continuous efforts made by the Royal Brunei Police Force in expanding the cooperation network with regional and international police forces, including participation in peacekeeping missions at certain conflict areas. Doa selamat was read by Assistant Superintendent of Police Mohammad Amerol bin Haji Metusin, Commanding Officer of Sungai Liang Police Station.

This year's celebration theme "Bersama Menghadapi Cabaran" or Together in Facing Challenges is a continuation of last year's theme, in driving the goals and strategy of the Royal Brunei Police Force more comprehensively with the community in together facing the challenge of globalisation which has been seen to bring about a multitude of impact in people's lives. The theme also clearly shows that determination and commitment of the Royal Brunei Police Force to go through and tackle any challenges faced wisely through the involvement of stakeholders.

The Royal Brunei Police Force is also making efforts to produce officers and personnel who are disciplined, strict, knowledgeable and with noble characteristics. The force's officers and personnel are the heart which will drive the force towards excellence. Thus, the strong ties between the force's personnel plays a vital role as catalysts to achieve the desire.

The parade was truly meaningful in boosting spirits and perpetuating a progressive working culture, aside from showing the achievements and success of the Royal Brunei Police Force as a uniformed force that continuously works together with the community in defending the country's sovereignty, security and prosperity.

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Bandar Seri Begawan became the focal point as thousands of people especially cyclists took part in the 'Semangat Kebangsaan 2020' Cycling Recreation yesterday morning. The atmosphere in the capital became more lively as 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 joined the event. Also present were His Majesty's sons and brother, His Royal Highness Prince Haji Al-Muhtadee Billah, the Crown Prince and Senior Minister at the Prime Minister's Office; His Royal Highness Prince 'Abdul Malik; and His Royal Highness Prince Mohamed Bolkiah. The 'Semangat Kebangsaan 2020' Cycling Recreation, which began and ended at Taman Haji Sir Muda Omar 'Ali Saifuddien, was held in conjunction with the 36th National Day.

Upon arrival, His Majesty was greeted by Cabinet Ministers led by Yang Berhormat Retired Major General Dato Paduka Seri Haji Aminuddin Ihsan bin Pehin Orang Kaya Saiful Mulok Dato Seri Paduka Haji Abidin, Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports.

Shortly after arriving, His Majesty launched the 'Semangat Kebangsaan 2020' Cycling Recreation and signed a framed special jersey that had been specially commissioned for the occasion.

His Majesty then led the 11.5 kilometre cycling event, passing through several main roads around the capital. The presence of His Majesty and members of the Royal Family at such an event every year is highly anticipated by all walks of life. The cycling event was also joined by Cabinet Ministers, Deputy Ministers, Permanent and Deputy Permanent Secretaries as well as the public including foreigners.

The event coincided with the Bandarku Ceria Programme, which further enlivened the atmosphere in the capital. The 'Semangat Kebangsaan 2020' Cycling Recreation was organised by the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports with the Ministry of Home Affairs; Ministry of Religious Affairs; Ministry of Primary Resources and Tourism; Ministry of Defence; Ministry of Health; Ministry of Education; Ministry of Transport and Infocommunications and other ministries as well as the Brunei Darussalam Cycling Federation.

The event route passed through Jalan Pretty; Jalan Elizabeth Dua, Jalan Masjid Omar Ali Saifuddien; Jalan Kianggeh; Jalan Sekolah; Jalan Kumbang Pasang; Jalan Gadong; Jalan Perdana Menteri and Jalan Raja Isteri Pengiran Anak Saleha before ending at Taman Haji Sir Muda Omar 'Ali Saifuddien.

His Majesty's involvement and high sportsmanship made the Monarch as an example for the citizens and residents in carrying out sports activities in together practising a healthy and active lifestyle.

Every time such an event is held, it receives encouraging response from the public. This activity is in line with the declaration of 'Cycling as the Country's Hobby' during the Golden Jubilee Cycling Recreation in 2017. The cycling recreation can also increase the youth's involvement in sports.

Shortly after completing the event, His Majesty and other members of the Royal Family watched the march past led by 36 cyclists from 4 districts who have completed the 36-kilometre route. Also joining the march past were the youth from various age groups. His Majesty also watched a performance by the National Service trainees.

His Majesty then received a Pasambah presented by the Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports. His Majesty also received Junjung Ziarah from the SEA Games 2019 contingent. Before taking a closer look at the Bandarku Ceria activities and exhibitions, His Majesty mingled with parents and guardians of the National Service trainees.

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His Majesty News
  



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 has consented to send a message of congratulations to Yang Amat Berhormat Tan Sri Muhyiddin bin Mohd Yassin on his appointment as the 8th Prime Minister of Malaysia. In the message to Yang Amat Berhormat Tan Sri Muhyiddin, His Majesty expressed his confidence that under the leadership of Yang Amat Berhormat Tan Sri, Malaysia will continue to progress and prosper.

Furthermore, His Majesty stated that as a close neighbour, Brunei Darussalam treasures the close and cordial friendship as well as the active cooperation with Malaysia in various areas. His Majesty believes that the long-standing friendly ties will continue to be preserved and strengthened in the years ahead for the well-being and prosperity of both countries and its people.

His Majesty welcomes the opportunity to work closely with Yang Amat Berhormat Tan Sri to enhance these important ties bilaterally, regionally and internationally. His Majesty and Her Majesty Duli Raja Isteri Pengiran Anak Hajah Saleha also extend their invitation for Yang Amat Berhormat Tan Sri and Yang Amat Berbahagia Puan Sri Norainee Abdul Rahman to visit Brunei Darussalam at the earliest convenient date.

In ending the message, His Majesty and Her Majesty Duli Raja Isteri Pengiran Anak Hajah Saleha pray that Allah Subanahu Wata'ala will bless Yang Amat Berhormat Tan Sri and Yang Amat Berbahagia Puan Seri Norainee Abdul Rahman and family with continuous good health and happiness and always under His protection.

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The fire at Kampung Bendahara Lama which occurred early morning of 8th January gained attention from the public in particular the government of His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam. Yesterday morning, Yayasan Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah presented financial aid to the victims of the fire. The Presentation of donations was held at Yayasan Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Complex in the capital.

The contributions were presented by Yang Berhormat Dato Seri Setia Haji Awang Abdul Mokti bin Haji Mohd Daud, Minister at the Prime Minister's Office as member of the Yayasan Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Board of Directors and Chairman of the Yayasan Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Aid Review Committee. The contributions amounting to 79,600 dollars were presented to nine families.

The Ministry of Education also presented contributions to students from families affected by the fire, presented by Awang Aliuddin bin Haji Abdul Rahman, Deputy Permanent Secretary for Core Education at the Ministry of Education. Also present was Doctor Nor Imtihan binti Haji Abdul Razak, Permanent Secretary for Planning, Land Use and Environment at the Ministry of Development as the Acting Managing Director of Yayasan Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah.


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His Royal Highness Prince Haji Al-Muhtadee Billah ibni His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu'izzaddin Waddaulah, the Crown Prince and Senior Minister at the Prime Minister's Office last night graced the opening of the ASEAN Tourism Forum, ATF, 2020 and launched the new ASEAN Tourism Website. The ceremony was held at the Indera Samudera Hall, The Empire Brunei in Jerudong.

Upon arrival, His Royal Highness was greeted by Yang Berhormat Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Ali bin Apong, Minister of Primary Resources and Tourism as the Chairman of the ATF 2020. Also greeting His Royal Highness were the ASEAN Tourism Ministers.

His Royal Highness then proceeded to view a mini showcase by the Ministry of Transport and Infocommunications, and Huawei Technologies (Brunei) Sendirian Berhad well as a demonstration on the use of Virtual Reality Technology in travel. His Royal Highness was also briefed on Digital Technologies for Smart Tourism by Awang Haji Muhammad Nazri bin Haji Muhammad Yusof, Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Transport and Infocommunications as well as the 5G Technology in Smart Travel by Kevin Zhang, Chief Executive Officer of Huawei Technologies (Brunei) Sendirian Berhad.

The ATF is a co-operative regional effort to promote the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, ASEAN region as a tourist destination. It is a platform fot the region's Tourism Ministers, government officials and travel industry players to come together and discuss ways to grow and enhance tourism opportunities. The annual event involves all the tourism industry sectors from the 10 ASEAN member nations and this year marks the event's 39th anniversary.

In his welcoming speech, the Minister of Primary Resources and Tourism highlighted that the ASEAN tourism industry has seen significant growth in the last decade and continues to be an important contributor to ASEAN's socio-economic development. In 2019, Yang berhormat explained, ASEAN welcomed over 133 Million international arrivals, an increase by 7 percent from 2018.

His Royal Highness the Crown Prince officiated the ATF 2020 and launched the new ASEAN Tourism website.

The new ASEAN Tourism website will serve as a one-stop platform for integrated information on ASEAN tourism products and activities. It also hopes to drive tourist interest towards the Southeast Asian region as a preferred tourism destination. The 2-day 23rd ASEAN Tourism Ministers Meeting and Related Meetings began yesterday. More than 800 delegates comprising ministers and senior officials, exhibitors, buyers and Media attended the forum. 

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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, in a titah stresses that corruption can weaken the administration and bring about the country's downfall. As a nation with religion, the monarch reminds that corruption is the bridge to Hell.

Thus, His Majesty urges the Ministry of Development not to wrongly select any contractors or wholesalers in national project development works that can bring a loss to the government and people. His Majesty stresses the matter in a titah during an unscheduled visit to the Ministry of Development and a number of departments under it yesterday morning.

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