TEMBURONG - President Halimah Yacob on Sunday (May 13) visited Singapore Armed Forces officer cadets undergoing jungle and survival training here, where she noted that such overseas training helps build their skills and confidence.
She is in Brunei on a four-day state visit, her first, and had travelled from the capital city of Bandar Seri Begawan to Temburong, which is Brunei's easternmost district, where she met soldiers from the Officer Cadet School.
There, she also observed officer cadets completing a combat swim, and was shown how soldiers are trained to identify and forage for edible food in the jungle, as well as scavenge for materials to build a shelter during rainy conditions.
"I am glad to see how overseas training, such as this in Brunei, builds the confidence and competence of our soldiers by exposing them to different stressors than that experienced in Singapore," said Madam Halimah, who also emphasised the importance of training leaders who care for their soldiers and lead with purpose.
Madam Halimah was accompanied by Chief of Army Goh Si Hou, Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat, and Senior Minister of State for Defence Mohamad Maliki Osman. Her husband, Mr Mohamed Abdullah Alhabshee, and Members of Parliament Joan Pereira and Lim Wee Kiak were also present.
Singapore and Brunei have shared close defence ties since 1976. The SAF conducts regular training in Brunei, and there are frequent bilateral exercises and visits.
Earlier in the morning, Madam Halimah also took a morning walk with Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah in Bandar Seri Begawan, where she visited street-side handicraft booths and food stalls during Brunei’s weekly Bandarku Ceria, a car-free day event.
She was later hosted to breakfast by the Sultan, and will attend a dinner reception with Singaporeans in Brunei on Sunday night.