Singapore, Brunei to build on defence relations

Singapore and Brunei reaffirmed their commitment to strengthen bilateral defence cooperation in areas such as defence technology at the Singapore-Brunei Defence Policy Dialogue yesterday.

Singapore's Permanent Secretary for Defence Chan Heng Kee co-chaired the eighth edition of the dialogue - which took place via videoconferencing - with his counterpart from Brunei, Brigadier-General (BG) (Rtd) Dato Seri Pahlawan Shahril Anwar bin Haji Ma'awiah.

Both sides exchanged views on international and regional security issues of mutual interest.

They also welcomed further defence cooperation on platforms such as the Asean Defence Ministers' Meeting, as Brunei will assume the Asean chairmanship next year.

Mr Chan and BG (Rtd) Dato Shahril approved enhancements to the bilateral Defence Scholars' Development Programme.

Established in 2007, the programme has brought together future leaders of the defence establishments of the two countries at an early stage of their careers to enable them to build lifelong friendships.

Singapore's Ministry of Defence (Mindef) said the dialogue has served as a regular forum for both countries to oversee and advance the bilateral defence relationship, as well as explore new areas of defence cooperation.

Inaugurated in 2009, it reaffirms the close and longstanding defence relations between Singapore and Brunei, Mindef added.

Both countries' armed forces also interact regularly through a wide range of activities - such as cross-attendance of courses, professional exchanges and visits.

Singapore and Brunei will celebrate their 45th anniversary of bilateral defence ties next year.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 16, 2020, with the headline 'S'pore, Brunei to build on defence relations'. Print Edition | Subscribe