Ng Eng Hen reaffirms ties with Brunei Sultan in official visit to Brunei

Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen (left) meeting Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah of Brunei on Nov 7, 2019. PHOTO: MINDEF

SINGAPORE - Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen met Brunei's Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah on Thursday (Nov 7) as part of a three-day official visit, said the Ministry of Defence (Mindef).

The leaders reiterated the importance of the special relationship between Brunei and Singapore, added Mindef.

They also welcomed the successful completion of this year's Exercise Pelican, the 40th year this has been held.

The Sultan was one of four Brunei officials Dr Ng met on his trip. He also met Crown Prince Haji Al-Muhtadee Billah and Minister at the Prime Minister's Office, Dato Seri Setia Haji Awang Abdul Mokti Haji Mohd Daud.

With the crown prince, Dr Ng discussed regional security issues and reaffirmed the close and longstanding defence ties between both countries, said Mindef.

On Wednesday, Dr Ng also met his counterpart, Minister of Defence II Pehin Datu Lailaraja Major General (Rtd), Dato Paduka Seri Haji Awang Halbi Haji Mohd Yussof.

They visited the bilateral Exercise Pelican, which has been held since 1979.

The navy exercise held in the waters off Brunei from last Sunday to Thursday involved six ships.

They are: Singapore's Formidable-class frigate RSS Tenacious, Victory-class missile corvettes RSS Valour and RSS Vigour, as well as Brunei's Darussalam-class offshore patrol vessels KDB Darussalam, KDB Darulehsan and KDB Darulaman.

The ministers watched the deployment of Republic of Singapore Navy's ScanEagle unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) from RSS Valour and RSS Vigour.

These UAVs provided tactical surveillance and targeting information for a coordinated engagement on simulated enemy ships.

The ministers later visited KDB Darussalam to witness a coordinated gun firing and a sail-past of the participating ships from both countries.

In addition, both navies also conducted other serials such as manoeuvring drills and communications exercises.

Mindef said Dr Ng's visit underscored the close and longstanding bilateral defence relations between Singapore and Brunei.

The Singapore Armed Forces and the Royal Brunei Armed Forces interact regularly through bilateral exercises, cross-attendance of courses, professional exchanges and visits.

Dr Ng's last visit to Brunei was in 2016 to commemorate 40 years of defence relations.

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