CMM's Editor Note: "We see Muslims killing each other destroying properties and infrastructures, within their own nations , and also their Muslim neighbours, but Brunei and Malaysia building infrastructures at boarders to facilitate easy flows of people from two Muslims Nations, to boost brotherly friendships"
HE close ties between Brunei Darussalam and Malaysia reached new heights yesterday when His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam and Malaysian Prime Minister Dato Laila Utama Dato’ Sri Mohd Najib Tun Haji Abdul Razak opened the Brunei Darussalam-Malaysia Friendship Bridge.
Dato Laila Utama Dato’ Sri Mohd Najib was in Brunei’s capital yesterday for the 17th Annual Leaders’ Consultation between Brunei Darussalam and Malaysia.
His Majesty and the Malaysian PM signing the commemorative plaque symbolising the opening of the Friendship Bridge.- SYAFIQ AFFENDY
His Majesty and Her Majesty Raja Isteri Pengiran Anak Hajah Saleha last evening consented to receive in audience Dato Laila Utama Dato’ Sri Mohd Najib and his spouse Datin Sri Rosmah Mansor. His Majesty held a four-eye meeting with the Prime Minister of Malaysia, witnessed the signing ceremony of a Memorandum of Understanding and Joint Announcement, and hosted a dinner banquet at Cheradi Laila Kenchana, Istana Nurul Iman.
Also present were His Royal Highness Prince Haji Al-Muhtadee Billah, the Crown Prince and Senior Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office; Her Royal Highness Paduka Seri Pengiran Anak Isteri Pengiran Anak Sarah; His Royal Highness Prince ‘Abdul Malik; Her Royal Highness Princess Hajah Rashidah Sa’adatul Bolkiah; and Her Royal Highness Princess Hajah Masna, Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade; as well as other members of the royal family.
The RM20.8 million (about B$9 million) Brunei-Malaysia Friendship Bridge, which opened to members of the public following the ceremony, will facilitate travel between both countries, cutting down the ferry ride across the Pandaruan River that usually takes hours due to long queues especially during the holiday season, down to only a few minutes.
Also present at the ceremony held on the Friendship Bridge, which is 189 metres long and 14 metres wide, yesterday morning was HRH Prince Haji Al-Muhtadee Billah, the Crown Prince and Senior Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office.
In a joint statement issued last night the leaders welcomed the signing of the Heads of Agreement for Gumusut/Kakap and Geronggong/Jagus-East
Fields to establish a joint development based on a provisional production and cost sharing, and the signing of the Heads of Agreement for Kinabalu West NAG and Maharajalela North Fields to formalise the unitisation arrangement and way forward on these straddling fields.
They also recalled their instruction at the 16th Annual Leaders’ Consultation to increase cooperation in Blocks N and Q, downstream industries, Sabah and Sarawak, and in third countries. In this regard, the leaders expressed satisfaction at the signing of the Production Sharing Agreements for Blocks N and Q for the immediate commencement of exploration work between PetroleumBRUNEI and Petronas, and also the agreements between PetroleumBRUNEI and Petronas in relation to the acquisition of a participating interest of the North Montney assets of Progress Energy Cooperation Ltd and in the Pacific Northwest shale gas to LNG Project in Canada.
View of the Friendship Bridge. – AZROL AZMI
In addition, they also welcomed the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding between PB Services Sdn Bhd (a subsidiary of PetroleumBRUNEI) and Malaysia Marine and Heavy Engineering (MMHE) to enter into a possible joint venture in Brunei Darussalam to provide fabrication services in the oil and gas industry.
Moreover, both leaders commended the excellent work of the joint technical teams in the joint demarcation and survey of the land boundary between Brunei Darussalam and Malaysia, and looked forward to the official commencement of the land demarcation as soon as possible. In moving forward, both leaders recalled for the sustained commitment of the joint technical teams in expeditiously carrying out their activities, with due emphasis being given to the identified priority areas, with a view to completing the joint demarcation and survey of the land boundary within the targeted time frame.
Furthermore, both leaders reaffirmed their commitment to deepen economic cooperation between Brunei Darussalam and Malaysia, in particular, with the states of Sabah and Sarawak. The leaders expressed satisfaction with the progress on the Keningau Integrated Livestock Centre (KILC) in Sabah and urged officials to work towards the conclusion of the Shareholders’ Agreement between Annam Corporation, a subsidiary of the Brunei Investment Agency (BIA), and the Sabah Economic Development and Investment Authority (SEDIA). Both leaders noted that the cooperation between Sarawak and Brunei Darussalam in energy, telecommunication, tourism and agriculture sectors have been proceeding well. Both also encouraged officials from both sides to explore new economic opportunities on a commercial basis.
he two expressed satisfaction with the significant progress achieved thus far in implementing the Exchange of Letters and urged that efforts be intensified to enable the conclusion of the other outstanding elements of the Exchange of Letters as well as other issues that are being deliberated by both sides.
Additionally, both expressed their utmost pleasure at the successful completion of the Friendship Bridge between Brunei Darussalam and Malaysia and commended the hard work and dedication of the Joint Project Teams and all contributing agencies. The leaders were pleased to officially launch the ‘Jambatan Persahabatan’ and remarked that the bridge reflects the deep and enduring ties between Brunei Darussalam and Malaysia. Both hoped that the bridge would significantly ease cross-border travel and create greater opportunities for trade and tourism between both countries. The leaders looked forward to the signing of the Agreement on the Management Maintenance and Usage of the Bridge Spanning the Pandaruan River.
Moreover, both leaders expressed satisfaction with the excellent progress in bilateral cooperation in the areas of trade and investment, finance and banking, energy, defense, health, education, tourism, air services, transportation and communications. The leaders agreed to maintain the frequent exchanges at all levels and to continue strengthening the consultative mechanisms in these various sectors.