Chief of Defence Force Melvyn Ong conferred top Brunei award

Brunei Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah conferring the Most Exalted Order of Paduka Keberanian Laila Terbilang - First Class on Chief of Defence Force Melvyn Ong at the Istana Nurul Iman in Brunei. PHOTO: MINDEF

SINGAPORE - Chief of Defence Force, Lieutenant-General Melvyn Ong, was conferred a top award by the Sultan of Brunei Hassanal Bolkiah on Monday (July 15), said the Ministry of Defence.

The Most Exalted Order of Paduka Keberanian Laila Terbilang - First Class is the highest Bruneian award to be conferred on foreign armed forces chiefs.

In a statement, Mindef said the conferment of the award reflected the close and longstanding bilateral defence relations between Singapore and Brunei.

Lt-Gen Ong, 44, who received the award at the Istana Nurul Iman in Brunei, said after the ceremony that the award reflected the "special relationship" between the Singapore Armed Forces and the Royal Brunei Armed Forces.

Lt-Gen Ong is in Brunei until Tuesday. As part of the visit, he will be attending a royal banquet on Monday in honour of the sultan.

Among the former chiefs of defence force who have received this award are Mr Perry Lim, Mr Ng Chee Meng, Mr Neo Kian Hong and Mr Bey Soo Khiang.

The armed forces of both countries interact frequently through a wide range of activities, including high-level visits, cross-attendance of courses, and professional exchanges.

There are also bilateral exercises across all three services, such as Exercise Maju Bersama, Exercise Air Guard and Exercise Pelican.

Such interactions have fostered mutual understanding, enhanced interoperability and built strong rapport and camaraderie among soldiers of both armed forces, added Mindef.

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