DPM Teo leading team in visit to Brunei

Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean is leading a team of younger political leaders to Brunei for a four-day visit at the invitation of Crown Prince Haji Al-Muhtadee Billah. The delegation left Singapore yesterday.

DPM Teo will reaffirm the close bilateral ties between the two countries and explore new areas where both can learn from each other and work together on, said a statement by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA).

The visit is the fifth edition of the Young Leaders' Programme (YLP), an annual exchange of visits that was started in 2013 to enhance relations.

The two countries enjoy what the MFA has called a "special relationship", underscored by frequent high-level exchanges between leaders. Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong visited Brunei for Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah's Golden Jubilee celebrations last month. Sultan Bolkiah visited Singapore in July to mark 50 years of Singapore-Brunei currency interchangeability.

The two countries take turns to host the YLP. Last year, Crown Prince Billah led a delegation of younger Bruneian leaders here.

"The YLP reflects the long-term commitment from Singapore and Brunei to enhance the special relationship, including through the strengthening of ties between the next-generation leadership from both sides," said an MFA spokesman.

In the delegation are:

•Minister for Culture, Community and Youth, Ms Grace Fu;

•Minister for Education (Schools) and Second Minister for Transport, Mr Ng Chee Meng;

•Minister for Education (Higher Education and Skills) and Second Minister for Defence, Mr Ong Ye Kung;

•Senior Minister of State for Communications and Information, and Education, Dr Janil Puthucheary;

•Senior Minister of State for Trade and Industry, and National Development, Dr Koh Poh Koon;

•Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Education, Social and Family Development, Associate Professor Muhammad Faishal Ibrahim.

During the visit, the Singapore delegation will meet Sultan Bolkiah and Crown Prince Billah. They will be hosted at a lunch by the Crown Prince, and at a tea reception with Bruneian ministers.

The two sides will open the Brunei leg of a co-curated exhibition - the second part in a two-part exhibition showcasing artefacts from Singapore and Brunei. The first part was launched in Singapore in July by PM Lee and Sultan Bolkiah.

The various office-holders in the Singapore delegation will also meet their respective counterparts to exchange views on regional developments. Mr Ong will visit Singapore Armed Forces soldiers undergoing jungle confidence and survival training in Brunei.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 03, 2017, with the headline 'DPM Teo leading team in visit to Brunei'. Print Edition | Subscribe