Dr M begins two-day working visit to Brunei

Hardi Effendi Yaacob

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN: Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has arrived here for a two-day working visit, which is expected to strengthen bilateral ties between Malaysia and Brunei. Dr Mahathir is accompanied by his wife, Tun Dr Siti Hasmah Mohd Ali, Foreign Minister Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah and officials from the Malaysian government. Brunei Crown Prince Pengiran Muda Al-Muhtadee Billah Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah appeared on behalf of his father, Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah, to welcome Dr Mahathir and his entourage upon their arrival at the Brunei International Airport here. Brunei Darussalam High Commissioner to Malaysia Datuk Paduka Alaihuddin Mohd Taha and Deputy High Commissioner Rafedah Abdul Aziz of the Malaysian High Commission here were also present. This is Dr Mahathir’s first official working visit to Brunei, in reciprocation of the visit to Malaysia by Sultan of Brunei, who was the first head of the state to pay a courtesy call to the former after the former was sworn in as the seventh prime minister mid-May. Brunei is also the second destination in Southeast Asia after Indonesia to be included in Dr Mahathir’s series of tour following Pakatan Harapan’s victory during the 14th General Election on May 9. A tight schedule awaits Dr Mahathir as the Langkawi Member of Parliament is expected to attend a dinner event and dialogue with Malaysians at the Rizqun Hotel here at about 8pm tonight. Dr Mahathir together with the Sultan of Brunei are also scheduled to visit Taman Mahkota Jubli Emas here the following day. Both leaders are expected to sign a plaque and “Pokok Persahabatan” (Friendship Tree), which symbolises the close Malaysia-Brunei ties. Dr Mahathir and the Sultan of Brunei will also attend a close-door meeting Istana Nurul Iman here, in which, both leaders are expected to deliberate on ways to enhance economic cooperation and other matters involving the two nations including border issues affecting Sabah and Sarawak. The Prime Minister is also scheduled to deliver his keynote address at the Universiti Brunei Darussalam’s Chancellery Hall here, where he is expected to share his experience in Malaysian administration and other development in Malaysia before returning to Kuala Lumpur. © New Straits Times Press (M) Bhd