DPM Heng at Brunei Sultan's birthday events

From far left: Singapore's High Commissioner to Brunei Lim Hong Huai, Chief of Defence Force Melvyn Ong, Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat and Brunei's Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah yesterday.
From far left: Singapore's High Commissioner to Brunei Lim Hong Huai, Chief of Defence Force Melvyn Ong, Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat and Brunei's Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah yesterday.PHOTO: MINISTRY OF COMMUNICATIONS AND INFORMATION

Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat yesterday attended the 73rd birthday celebrations of the Sultan of Brunei Hassanal Bolkiah.

In a Facebook post last night, Mr Heng said the Sultan hosted a royal banquet at the Istana Nurul Iman in Brunei as part of the celebrations.

He also had a royal audience with the Sultan and his wife, Raja Isteri Pengiran Anak Hajah Saleha.

"His Majesty reiterated the long-standing special relationship Brunei and Singapore enjoy," Mr Heng wrote. "We also had a good sharing on how we can continue to work together to strengthen cooperation on various areas, including the economy and education. The Sultan said he's looking forward to coming to Singapore for our National Day Parade on Aug 9."

Mr Heng also met Brunei's Minister at the Prime Minister's Office and Minister of Finance and Economy II Amin Liew Abdullah, and Minister of Primary Resources and Tourism Ali Apong.

He said he was honoured that the Chief of Defence Force, Lieutenant-General Melvyn Ong, was conferred a top award by the Sultan yesterday.

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

"This is a testament to the strong defence cooperation between our two countries," Mr Heng said.

 

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

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 16, 2019, with the headline 'DPM Heng at Brunei Sultan's birthday events'. Print Edition | Subscribe