Singapore, Brunei mark 40 years of defence ties

Dr Ng during his meeting with Brunei Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah yesterday.
Dr Ng during his meeting with Brunei Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah yesterday. PHOTO: MINDEF

Singapore Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen yesterday concluded an official visit to Brunei to mark the 40th anniversary of defence relations between the two countries.

The minister and Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah reaffirmed their nations' close and longstanding bilateral defence ties.

"It is a very special relationship because the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) troops come here to train regularly and many of them are familiar with Temburong where they do their jungle training, and many SAF NSmen have definite memories that last for a long time," said Dr Ng.

On Monday, Dr Ng witnessed the signing of a memorandum of understanding between Singapore and Brunei to cooperate on defence technology, noting that for both the SAF and the Royal Brunei Armed Forces, "manpower constraints are real issues and we need technology to multiply our efforts".

As well as the Sultan, Dr Ng also met Crown Prince Haji Al-Muhtadee Billah, Minister of Energy and Industry Pehin Yasmin Umar and National Security Committee chairman Dato Paduka Awang Haji Hamdan bin Haji Abu Bakar.

Dr Ng also observed Exercise Pelican, an annual naval exercise conducted by the Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN) and the Royal Brunei Navy (RBN) since 1979.

This year's exercise involved 205 personnel from the two navies.

Manoeuvres were conducted in the seas off Brunei, and a highlight was the RSN's S-70B naval helicopter landing on the RBN's offshore patrol vessel KDB Darulehsan in a warfare exercise.

Said Dr Ng: "A simple manoeuvre, but it speaks volumes of the trust and interoperability between both our militaries."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 31, 2016, with the headline 'Singapore, Brunei mark 40 years of defence ties'. Print Edition | Subscribe