BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN, Aug 17 — The Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah’s three-day state visit to Brunei beginning tomorrow will further strengthen the royal and bilateral ties that have existed between the two countries for 35 years.
This will be His Majesty’s first state visit after being officially installed as the 16th Yang di-Pertuan Agong on July 30.
Malaysian High Commissioner to Brunei, Ismail Salam, when met by Malaysian journalists, said it had been a norm for Malaysia to hold state visit to an Islamic monarchy country.
“This is a tradition that we have always observed. This visit is also a tradition to further strengthen the royal ties between the two countries.
“Generally, it is also to foster closer relations, especially the existing cooperation, which will continue to be enhanced,” he told a media conference at the Malaysian Embassy here today.
Ismail said many things could be achieved through good relations between Malaysia and Brunei, including in tourism, economy and education.
Sultan Abdullah, accompanied by the Raja Permaisuri Agong Tunku Hajah Azizah Aminah Maimunah Iskandariah, is scheduled to leave for Brunei tomorrow.
According to a statement by the Foreign Ministry today, the visit is also to commemorate the historic visit of Sultan Abdullah’s father, the late Paduka Ayahanda Sultan Ahmad Shah, who was then the first Yang di-Pertuan Agong, who undertook a state visit Brunei soon after the nation achieved its independence in 1984.
The close relationship between the head of state of the two countries was also evident when the Sultan of Brunei Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah and his consort, Raja Isteri Pengiran Anak Hajah Saleha, were among the foreign royal guests who attended the King’s installation ceremony at Istana Negara last month.
With the expected arrival of Malaysia’s Yang di-Pertuan Agong and the Raja Permaisuri Agong tomorrow, Brunei has prepared a rousing welcome for the royal guests with the streets in its capital city, Bandar Seri Begawan, lined with the Jalur Gemilang and its national flag.
During the visit, Sultan Abdullah and Tunku Azizah will be accorded a state welcome and are scheduled to attend, among others, a state banquet to be hosted by Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah at Istana Nurul Iman.
In conjunction with the visit, Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah will confer Brunei’s highest award, the Darjah Kerabat Mahkota Brunei (DKMB), on Sultan Abdullah and the Darjah Kerabat Laila Utama Yang Amat Dihormati (DK) to Tunku Azizah.
In return, Sultan Abdullah will confer the award, Darjah Utama Seri Mahkota Negara (DMN), to the Brunei Sultan’s consort, Raja Isteri Pengiran Anak Hajah Saleha.
Sultan Abdullah and Tunku Azizah are also scheduled to attend a dinner with Malaysians residing in Brunei, as well as visit several historical places and government departments in Bandar Seri Begawan.
Brunei is an important trade partner of Malaysia, with total trade between the two countries stood at US$981.2 million (RM3.9 billion) last year.
Brunei is also Malaysia’s seventh-largest trading partner in the South-east Asian region. — Bernama