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His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu'izzaddin Waddaulah Ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Haji Omar 'Ali Saifuddien Sa'adul Khairi Waddien Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam has consented to send messages of congratulations to His Excellency Shri Ram Nath Kovind, President of the Republic of India; and His Excellency Shri Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of the Republic of India as well as the Government and people of the Republic of India on the occasion of the Republic Day of India.

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His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu'izzaddin Waddaulah ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Haji Omar 'Ali Saifuddien Sa'adul Khairi Waddien, Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam has consented to send messages of congratulations to His Excellency General the Honourable David John Hurley, AC DSC Retired, Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia; and The Honourable Scott Morrison, MP, Prime Minister of the Commonwealth of Australia as well as the Government and the people of Australia on the occasion of Australia Day.

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During the Sovereign's Parade ceremony yesterday morning, His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam commissioned 73 Officer Cadets of the 19th Intake of Officer Cadet School, Defence Academy, Royal Brunei Armed Forces (RBAF) as Military Officer. His Majesty also bestowed the Sword of Honor Award and awards to the best Officer Cadets who performed exceptionally in various fields.

Upon arrival at the RBAF Defence Academy Parade Ground, His Majesty was greeted Yang Berhormat Pehin Datu Lailaraja Retired Major General Dato Paduka Seri Haji Awang Halbi bin Haji Md Yussof, Second Minister of Defence and Major General Udara Dato Seri Pahlawan Haji Hamzah bin Haji Sahat, Commander of RBAF.

Also present were His Majesty's son, His Royal Highness Prince Haji Al-Muhtadee Billah the Crown Prince and, Senior Minister at the Prime Minister's Office; and His Royal Highness 920 Captain Udara Prince 'Abdul Mateen.

Upon arrival, His Majesty received the Royal Salute and inspected the parade comprising 52 male officer cadets and 21 female officer cadets under the command of Lieutenant Mohd Ridhwan bin Haji Ralif, the Parade Officer.

The Sovereign's Parade is the culmination of the prestigious intensive military training for the RBAF Officer Cadet School in equipping Cadet Officers with knowledge, confidence, discipline, professionalism and leadership skills. The succeeding generation of Officer Cadets which will lead the RBAF leadership, undergoes various training and military activities for 52 weeks starting January last year.

Established on the 26th August 2008, the Officer Cadet School of the Defence Academy, Royal Brunei Armed Forces continues to thrive to play its role as a centre that produces top calibre and professional leaders.  The success of the Officer Cadets fully adopts the value of character, identity and leadership throughout the training in performing responsibilities and obligations which reflects the continued ability and success of the school.

The momentous occasion was also attended by parents and family of the Officer Cadets. Their perseverance and support are a source of strength and inspiration for the Officer Cadets in defending the country's sovereignty.

His Majesty then commissioned the Officer Cadets of the 19th Intake.

During the ceremony, His Majesty bestowed awards to the best Officer Cadets in various fields. The main award or the Sword of Honour was awarded to Officer Cadet Mohd Zulfahmi Solihin bin Haji Zulhazmi who has a Bacelor Degree in Mechatronic System from the University of Melbourne, Australia.  The special award from His Majesty is the highest honour for the Officer Cadet who was the Best Achiever in Basic Military Training, Academic, Physical and Leadership aspects.

The Best Academic Award was awarded to Officer Cadet (Udara) Mohd Khalid Wassadi Salleh bin Haji Mahmud, based on the best overall academic achievement throughout the course.  He is holder of a Bachelor degree in Business Administration from Universiti Brunei Darussalam, UBD.

Officer Cadet Muhd Ath'har Ridzwan bin Haji Muhd Alamizan received the Best Military Skills Award for outstanding achievement in all military skills subjects. He holds a Bachelor degree in Chemical Engineering from Universiti Teknologi Brunei, UTB.

Meanwhile, Officer Cadet Awangku Ahmad Muqri bin Pengiran Haji Shahbirin who holds a Bachelor degree in Hospitality Management from SEGi University Kota Damansara, Malaysia received the award of the Best in Physical Fitness Endurance Training.

Doa selamat was read by Commander Haji Ainolnizam bin Haji Ibrahim, Head of RBAF Religious Department.

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His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu'izzaddin Waddaulah Ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Haji Omar 'Ali Saifuddien Sa'adul Khairi Waddien, Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam has consented to send a message of congratulations to His Excellency Joseph R. Biden Jr. President of the United States of America, on the occasion of His Excellency's inauguration as the 46th president of the United States of America recently.


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His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu'izzaddin Waddaulah ibni Al-Mahrum Sultan Haji Omar 'Ali Saifuddien Sa'adul Khairi Waddien, Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam has consented to send a message of condolences to His Excellency Dato Laila Utama Joko Widodo, President of Republic of Indonesia, the Government and the people of the Republic of Indonesia following the recent earthquake that hit West Sulawesi which resulted in the loss of life and damage to public properties.


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His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu'izzaddin Waddaulah ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Haji Omar 'Ali Saifuddien Sa'adul Khairi Waddien, Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam, yesterday afternoon received in audience His Excellency Wang Yi, State Councillor and Minister of Foreign Affairs of the People's Republic of China, who is on a three-day visit to Brunei Darussalam.

Accompanying His Excellency was Her Excellency Yu Hong, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the People's Republic of China to Brunei Darussalam; Mr. Qian Keming, Vice Minister of Commerce; Mr. Wu Jianghao, Assistant Minister of Foreign Affairs; and Mr. Deng Boqing, Vice Chairman, China International Development Cooperation Agency.  Also present were Yang Berhormat Dato Seri Setia Dr. Awang Haji Mohd Amin Liew bin Abdullah, Minister at the Prime Minister's Office and Second Minister of Finance and Economy; and Yang Berhormat Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Erywan bin Pehin Datu Pekerma Jaya Haji Mohd Yusof, Second Minister of Foreign Affairs.

During the Audience Ceremony, His Majesty and His Excellency discussed bilateral and regional issues of mutual importance to Brunei Darussalam and the People's Republic of China. The Audience Ceremony took place at Istana Nurul Iman.

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During the unscheduled visit to the Ministry of Education, His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam took a closer look at several sections of the ministry.

Among the departments that came under His Majesty's scrutiny was the Department of Curriculum Development which places a number of units including the Science Unit, Information and Technology Unit, Creative Art and Technology Unit, and the Vocational and Technical Unit.

With the vision 'Quality Education, Dynamic Nation', the Ministry of Education is committed to prepare an equitable and quality education for the future generation, guided by the Malay Islamic Monarchy values, and equip the students with knowledge and skills of the 21st century. As a professional and dynamic organisation, the Ministry of Education provides education programmes that are holistic with relevant and beneficial curriculum that is responsive to the student's personality.

The Ministry of Education's Strategic Plan 2018-2022 underlined 3 main objectives namely: Transform our organisation human resource towards a performance-driven culture, provide equal and equitable access to quality education; and enhance shared accountability with stakeholders in the development of teaching and learning.

The upgrading of the Human Resource Development Division into Department of Educators Management will pioneer the human resource transformation efforts. It involves four main domains namely Selection and Recruitment; Placement and Relocation; Career Development; and Retirement. These are among the human resource transformation initiatives towards a performance-based culture. The Ministry of Education prioritise on strengthening delivery of basic education to higher education.

To achieve the Wawasan Negara 2035, the education strategy prioritise programmes that encourage lifelong learning and expand access to higher education. The National Education System for the 21st Century or SPN21 that was launched in 2009, will continue to provide equitable access to quality education through pathway diversification and fulfil learning needs for students.

At the international level, Brunei Darussalam has joined the global commitment to provide quality basic education for all children, the youth and adults. The country also achieved the Millennium Development Goals on literacy rate. Throughout over 100 years of formal education in the country, the national education system highly emphasised on lifelong learning, inline with the Compulsory Education Order that was introduced in 2007.

His Majesty ended the visit with the signing of the commemorative parchment. The Ministry of Education will continue to strive in making various changes and development in upholding its role towards producing quality human capital that are capable of competing in the international arena.

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His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu'izzaddin Waddaulah ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Haji Omar 'Ali Saifuddien Sa'adul Khairi Waddien, Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam, yesterday afternoon received in audience His Excellency Dato Paduka Lim Jock Hoi, Secretary-General of ASEAN.

The Audience Ceremony took place at Istana Nurul Iman. At the Audience Ceremony, His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam and His Excellency the Secretary-General of ASEAN, among other things, discussed the preparations of the ASEAN Summit and related meetings which will be chaired by Brunei Darussalam virtually this year. Also present was Yang Berhormat Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Erywan bin Pehin Datu Pekerma Jaya Haji Mohd. Yusof, Second Minister of Foreign Affairs.

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​His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu'izzaddin Waddaulah ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Haji Omar 'Ali Saifuddien Sa'adul Khairi Waddien, Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam has consented to send a message of condolences to His Excellency Dato Laila Utama Joko Widodo, President of the Republic of Indonesia, the Government and the  people of the Republic of Indonesia following the plane crash of the Sriwijaya Air SJ182 at Java Sea that resulted in the loss of life of 62 passengers including its cabin crew on the 9th of January, 2021.


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His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu'izzaddin Waddaulah ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Haji Omar 'Ali Saifuddien Sa'adul Khairi Waddien, Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam, has consented to send congratulatory messages to His Excellency U Win Myint, President of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar, and to Her Excellency  Daw  Aung San  Suu  Kyi, State  Counsellor and Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar, the Government and people of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar on the occasion of its 73rd Independence Day.


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His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu'izzaddin Waddaulah ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Haji Omar 'Ali Saifuddien Sa'adul Khairi Waddien, Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam in a titah expresses hope that a working culture of high integrity, responsibility and adherence to regulations and laws will be practised by those serving in the public or private sector. His Majesty stresses if the decadence and weakness of ethics and morals in carrying out trust are eliminated, InsyaAllah the country will be safe and always blessed towards success. In the titah in conjunction with the New Year 2021, the Monarch also highlights matters related to efforts to further increase the country's productivity through innovation and effective coordination, the development of digital transformation to turn the country into a smart nation as well as widening job opportunities for locals. His Majesty also touches on food security as a main agenda towards ensuring sufficient supply of basic food. His Majesty adds 2020 was a very challenging year for Brunei Darussalam and the whole world due to the massive impact of the Coronavirus on the world's socioeconomy development.

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His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu'izzaddin Waddaulah ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Haji Omar 'Ali Saifuddien Sa'adul Khairi Waddien, Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam, yesterday morning made an unscheduled visit to the Ministry of Finance and Economy, Bandar Seri Begawan. His Majesty visited the Treasury Department and several division under the ministry.

His Majesty first visited the Legal Unit. The Legal unit has a vision of providing legal services to the Ministry of Finance and Economy in an effort to achieve its strategic objectives.

The Revenue Division is the agency responsible for formulating tax policies, administration and due collection of income tax in Brunei Darussalam. The division also promotes an efficient, effective and modern tax system in line with international standards.

The Treasury Department also caught the Monarch's attention. The Department is also committed with its vision of 'A Dynamic and Excellent Accounting Management and Financial Services System.'

The Ministry of Finance was established on the 1st of January 1984. In 20th September 2018, the Ministry was renamed to the Ministry of Finance and Economy with the absorption of the Department of Economic Planning and Development under it. By November last year, the Industrial Affairs namely Darussalam Enterprise, DARe; the Industry and Business Ecosystem; Secretariat of Ease of Doing Business; and National Standards Centre was transferred to the Ministry of Finance and Economy.

There are three departments under the Ministry of Finance and Economy: Treasury Department; Royal Customs and Excise Department and Department of Economic Planning and Statistics.

13 sections are listed under the ministry, including National Development Plans Office; Expenditure; Investment; Registration of Companies and Business Names; State Tender Board; Industry and Business Ecosystem and National Standards Centre.

Five statutory bodies are listed under the ministry, namely: Brunei Investment Agency; Employees Trust Fund; Brunei Darussalam Deposit Protection Corporations; Darussalam Assets; Brunei Economic Development Board and Darussalam Enterprise. The 4 units under the ministry are Internal Audit Unit; Strategic Management Office; Legal Unit and Sukuk Financing Unit.

To Deliver Economic and Financial Sustainability is the Ministry of Finance and Economy's mission. The ministry is responsible in ensuring the government & country's financial stability; to allocate annual expenditure for the implementation of government's infrastructure projects; to ensure the country's food security; and social security through the Employees Trust Fund or TAP & Supplemental Contributory Pensions, SCP, schemes and to provide policies and guidelines for the stimulation development of the country's economic growth.

His Majesty also took a closer look at the Autoriti Monetari Brunei Darussalam, AMBD. Established on the 1st of January 2011, AMBD acts as the central bank of Brunei Darussalam. The establishment aimed to achieve and maintain domestic price stability; to ensure the stability of the financial system, in particular by formulating financial regulations and prudential standards; to assist in the establishment and functioning of efficient payment systems and to oversee them; and to foster and develop a sound and progressive financial services sector.

The Ministry of Finance and Economy implements four core values in delivering its responsibilities, which are 'Beriman dan Bertakwa; Akauntabiliti; Integriti & Inovatif and Kecemerlangan dan Kesepasukanan'.

His Majesty's visit aims to ensure that the Ministry of Finance and Economy is sensitive to the issues addressed by His Majesty's Government as well as strive to achieve the vision and mission of the ministry.

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His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam made an unscheduled visit to the RB Campus in Jalan Kustin, yesterday morning. His Majesty took a closer look at the infrastructure and facilities provided at the Campus. His Majesty also visited the Line Based Maintenance Section at Brunei International Airport.

His Majesty first visited the Rose Building at RB Campus that allocated the Collaboration Hub and Finance and Revenue Section. The RB Campus was officiated in January last year. Its opening symbolises an important land mark for RB and introduces the newly expanded corporate headquarters.

To date, over 300 employees are working at the campus. Equipped with training rooms, the campus acts as a Learning Centre for RB's development and local trainings. RB was announced at number 66 in the Top 100 Airlines in the World for last year. Apart from that, RB has officially received the Skytrax 4-Star Airline Rating Award from the United Kingdom-based leading international air transport rating organisation.

The campus is also equipped with New Sky Cafe for RB staff.

At the Simpur Building, the Monarch took a closer look at several sections including Internal Audit and Legal Affairs Section and Information Technology Section while interacting with the staff of RB Campus.

For the past few years, Royal Brunei Airlines (RB) Board members and the RB management team made a conscious decision to focus on service and hospitality, as a core part of their corporate strategy. RB's transformation as the national airline has undergone many positive developments from their fleet modernisation programme, Destination Marketing with spotlight on the attractions of Brunei.

Hangar One of RB at Brunei International Airport was among the infrastructure that caught the monarch's attention. Among the main role of the hangar is to carry out engineering activities and maintenance work including inspection of RB aircraft.

From Hangar One, His Majesty also visited the Line Based Maintenance Section at Brunei International Airport.

His Majesty ended the visit with a closer look at the Hangar Three of RB. RB will continue to align its corporate objectives with Wawasan Brunei 2035, namely by helping to boost the dynamic and resilient economy while supporting the aspirations of the Brunei Tourism Board. Also present were Yang Berhormat Dato  Seri  Setia Dr.  Awang  Haji  Mohd  Amin  Liew bin  Abdullah,  Minister at the Prime Minister's Office and Second Minister of Finance and Economy as the Chairman of the RB Board of Directors; and Dato Seri Paduka Awang Haji Ahmaddin bin Haji Abdul Rahman, Deputy Minister of Finance for Fiscal, Ministry of Finance and Economy. 

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His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu'izzaddin Waddaulah ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Haji Omar 'Ali Saifuddien Sa'adul Khairi Waddien Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam has consented to send congratulatory messages to His Highness Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, Amir of the State of Qatar; His Excellency Sheikh Khalid bin Khalifa bin Abdul Aziz Al Thani, Prime Minister and Minister of Interior, the State of Qatar, the Government as well as the people of the State of Qatar on the occasion of the National Day of the State of Qatar.

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His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu'izzaddin Waddaulah ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Haji Omar 'Ali Saifuddien Sa'adul Khairi Waddien, Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam in a titah stresses it is very important to study and solve the Coronavirus pandemic, including to find out why it can be controlled effective in the country.

His Majesty adds could it be due to the country continuing to comply with international standards besides consistently using the 'divine vaccine' in the form of Verses of Al-Quran and doa or supplications. Hence, the Monarch emphasises it is essential to study the Coronavirus pandemic in order to discovery some of the wisdom behind it because such wisdom is capable of impacting on the spirit as a lesson. The titah coincides with the Knowledge Convention 2020 In Conjunction with His Majesty's 74th Birthday Celebration. His Majesty says although the country is still on the alert for the pandemic, this year's Knowledge Convention still can take place.

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His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu'izzaddin Waddaulah ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Haji Omar 'Ali Saifuddien Sa'adul Khairi Waddien, Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam, yesterday afternoon received in audience Mr. Qiu Jianlin, Chairman of the Zhejiang Hengyi Group and Hengyi Industries Sdn. Bhd.

Hengyi Industries Sdn. Bhd. is a joint venture between the Government of His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam via the Strategic Development Capital Fund, and the Zhejiang Hengyi Group from the People's Republic of China. With an investment of 3.445 billion US Dollars, the project is the largest foreign direct investment in Brunei Darussalam. Hengyi Industries commenced construction of its refinery plant in 2017 and started production in November 2019. Through its megascale production of petrochemicals, Hengyi Industries strives to contribute towards Brunei Darussalam's long-term economic growth and social development, consequently setting a solid foundation towards the achievement of Wawasan Brunei 2035.

To date, Hengyi Industries has created job opportunities for some 666 Bruneians, and business opportunities for 59 local small and medium enterprises, SMEs, in various fields including engineering, catering, transportation and logistics. In addition, Hengyi Industries has offered 203 scholarships to Bruneians to further their studies overseas since 2014, in which 68 scholars who have graduated are currently employed by Hengyi Industries. The Audience Ceremony took place at Istana Nurul Iman. Also present were Yang Berhormat Dato Seri Setia Dr. Awang Haji Mohd. Amin Liew bin Abdullah, Minister at the Prime Minister's Office and Second Minister of Finance and Economy; Yang Berhormat Dato Seri Setia Dr. Awang Haji Mat Suny bin Haji Md. Hussein, Minister of Energy; Dato Seri Paduka Awang Haji Matsatejo bin Sokiaw, Deputy Minister of Energy; and Mr. Chen Lian Cai, Chief Executive Officer, Hengyi Industries Sdn. Bhd.

At the audience ceremony, His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam and the Chairman of the Zhejiang Hengyi Group and Hengyi Industries Sdn. Bhd., among other things, touched matters related to the development of the Pulau Muara Besar Oil Refinery and Petrochemical Plant, as well as its contribution to the national economy and generation of business and employment opportunities for locals. 

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His Royal Highness Prince Haji Al-Muhtadee Billah ibni His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu'izzaddin Waddaulah, the Crown Prince and Senior Minister at the Prime Minister's Office as Chairman of the Brunei Shell Joint Venture Companies yesterday morning received in audience Mr. Qiu Jianlin, Chairman of the Zhejiang Hengyi Group and Hengyi Industries Sdn. Bhd. The Audience Ceremony was held at Qashr Al-Meezan.

Also present at the Audience Ceremony were Yang Berhormat Dato Seri Setia Dr. Awang Haji Mohd. Amin Liew bin Abdullah, Minister at the Prime Minister's Office and Second Minister of Finance and Economy; Yang Berhormat Dato Seri Setia Dr. Awang Haji Mat Suny bin Haji Md. Hussein, Minister of Energy; Dato Seri Paduka Awang Haji Matsatejo bin Sokiaw, Deputy Minister of Energy; and Mr. Chen Lian Cai, Chief Executive Officer, Hengyi Industries Sdn. Bhd.

During the Audience Ceremony, His Royal Highness and the Chairman of the Zhejiang Hengyi Group and Hengyi Industries Sdn. Bhd. exchanged views on key business activities in the downstream energy sector and the development of Bruneian talent.

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His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu'izzaddin Waddaulah ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Haji Omar 'Ali Saifuddien Sa'adul Khairi Waddien, Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam, yesterday afternoon received in audience His Excellency Marcal Avelino Ximenes, outgoing Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste to Brunei Darussalam.

His Excellency presented his Letter of Credence to His Majesty on 15th February 2017. Also present was Mrs. Cristiana Gloria, Deputy Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste to Brunei Darussalam. The Audience Ceremony took place at Istana Nurul Iman.

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His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu'izzaddin Waddaulah ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Haji Omar 'Ali Saifuddien Sa'adul Khairi Waddien Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam has consented to send messages of congratulations to His Majesty King Maha Vajiralongkorn Phra Vajiraklaochaoyuhua, the King of Thailand, all members of the Royal Family, His Excellency Retired General Prayut Chan-o-cha, Prime Minister of Thailand, the Government as well as the people of the Kingdom of Thailand on the occasion of the National Day of the Kingdom of Thailand.

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His Royal Highness Prince Haji Al-Muhtadee Billah ibni His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu'izzaddin Waddaulah, the Crown Prince and Senior Minister at the Prime Minister's Office, received in audience His Excellency Marcal Avelino Ximenes, the outgoing Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste to Brunei Darussalam. The Audience Ceremony took place yesterday morning at Qashr Al-Meezaan.

His Excellency presented his Letter of Credence to His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu'izzaddin Waddaulah ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Haji Omar 'Ali Saifuddien Sa'adul Khairi Waddien, Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam on the 15th of February 2017. Also present was Mrs. Cristiana Gloria, Deputy Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste to Brunei Darussalam. 

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His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu'izzaddin Waddaulah Ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Haji Omar 'Ali Saifuddin Sa'adul Khairi Waddien, Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam attended the Reading of Surah Yassin and 40 days Tahlil Ceremony for Al-Marhum His Royal Highness Prince Haji 'Abdul 'Azim ibni His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu'izzaddin Waddaulah. The ceremony was held yesterday late afternoon at Jame' 'Asr Hassanil Bolkiah in Kampung Kiarong.

Upon arrival His Majesty was greeted by

- Yang Amat Mulia Pengiran Lela Cheteria Sahibun Najabah Pengiran Anak Haji Abdul Aziz bin Pengiran Jaya Negara Pengiran Haji Abu Bakar, Yang Di-Pertua Adat Istiadat Negara
- Yang Berhormat Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Kerna Dato Seri Setia Doctor Haji Awang Abu Bakar bin Haji Apong, Minister of Home Affairs;
- Yang Berhormat Pehin Udana Khatib Dato Paduka Seri Setia Ustaz Haji Awang Badaruddin bin Pengarah Dato Paduka Haji Awang Othman, Minister of Religious Affairs;
- Yang Berhormat Dato Seri Setia Doctor Haji Mohd Isham bin Haji Jaafar, Minister of Health;
- Yang Berhormat Dato Seri Setia Haji Awang Abdul Mokti bin Haji Mohd Daud, Minister at the Prime Minister's Office
- Yang Berhormat Dato Seri Setia Dr. Awang Haji Mohd Amin Liew bin Abdullah, Minister at the Prime Minister's Office and Second Minister of Finance and Economy;
- Yang Berhormat Pehin Datu Seri Maharaja Dato Paduka Seri Setia Doctor Ustaz Haji Awang Abdul Aziz bin Juned, the State Mufti

Also in attendance were His Majesty's sons and brother;

- His Royal Highness Prince Haji Al-Muhtadee Billah; the Crown Prince and Senior Minister at the Prime Minister's Office;
- His Royal Highness Prince 'Abdul Malik; 
- His Royal Highness Prince 'Abdul Mateen;
- His Royal Highness Prince 'Abdul Wakeel and
- His Royal Highness Prince Haji Jefri Bolkiah.

The mass Fardu Maghrib prayer was led by Yang Berhormat Pehin Orang Kaya Paduka Seri Utama Dato Paduka Seri Setia Haji Awang Salim bin Haji Besar. Yang Berhormat Pehin also led the Sunat Hajat Prayer. The reading of Surah Yaasin and Tahlil was led by Yang Berhormat Pehin Orang Kaya Paduka Seri Utama Dato Paduka Seri Setia Haji Awang Salim.

Doa Tahlil was read by the State Mufti. The mass Fardhu Isyak prayer was led by Yang Dimuliakan Pehin Orang Kaya Paduka Setia Raja Dato Paduka Seri Setia Haji Awang Suhaili bin Haji Mohiddin.

Al-Marhum His Royal Highness Prince Haji 'Abdul 'Azim passed away on Saturday, 7th of Rabiulawal 1442 Hijrah corresponding to 24th of October 2020 at 8 past 10 in the morning at the age of 38.

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His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu'izzaddin Waddaulah ibni Al-Mahrum Sultan Haji Omar 'Ali Saifuddien Sa'adul Khairi Waddien, Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam has consented to send congratulatory messages to His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the United Arab Emirates and Ruler of Abu Dhabi, the United Arab Emirates, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister, Ruler of Dubai and Minister of Defence, the United Arab Emirates, members of the Royal Family as well as to the Government and people of the United Arab Emirates on the auspicious occasion of the National Day of the United Arab Emirates.

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His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu'izzaddin Waddaulah ibni Al-Mahrum Sultan Haji Omar 'Ali Saifuddien Sa'adul Khairi Waddien, Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam has consented to send congratulatory messages to His Excellency Bounnhang Vorachith, President of the Lao People's Democratic Republic and His Excellency Doctor Thongloun Sisoulith, Prime Minister of the Lao People's Democratic Republic, the Government as well as the people of the Lao People's Democratic Republic on the occasion of its 45th National Day. 

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His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu'izzaddin Waddaulah ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Haji Omar 'Ali Saifuddin Sa'adul Khari Waddien, Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam this morning paid an unscheduled visit to the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports at Jalan Kebangsaan. 

His Majesty first visited the Pensions Division at Community Development Department, JAPEM.  In March 2020, His Majesty consented that JAPEM pay out pensions, allowances and Monthly Welfare Assistance through the banks as an alternative to the normal payment through Penghulu Kampung and Village Heads.   The step was taken based on the advice of the Ministry of Health in facing the COVID-19 pandemic.

JAPEM's Administration and Financial Division is responsible for administrative matters and general management of the ministry, including the administration of staff, courses, finance and stores, vehicle and building maintenance and performance appraisals.  The division also acts as the Secretariat of the Management Committee, Small Tenders Board, Human Resource Development Committee, Information Technology Committee, Establishment and Disciplinary Board and Quotation Committee.

The role of the Youth and Training Divisions as well as the Resource Centre at the Youth and Sports Department is to shape youth to be responsible persons to Religion, the Monarch, Race and Country through youth and sports programmes besides providing and implementing youth leadership training and sports development based on the National Youth and National Sports Policies.  The division also encourages and coordinates youth involvement in bilateral exchange programmes at the regional and international levels.

The Research, Development and International Affairs Division is responsible for coordinating the country's position in cooperation and commitment of sectors under the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports in supporting the objective of the Ministry of Home Affairs and foreign countries as well as regional and international organisations. Its implementation is adapted in supporting the achievement of the ministry's vision and mission based on friendship, mutual respect and non-interference in each other's internal affairs.

News courtesy of Radio Television Brunei
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251 received degrees and diplomas in various fields during the 10th Convocation of Seri Begawan Religious Teachers University College, KUPU SB this morning. His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam as the Chancellor of KUPU SB conferred the degrees and diplomas. The ceremony was held at the International convention Centre in Berakas.

Upon arriving, His Majesty was greeted by Yang Berhormat Pehin Udana Khatib Dato Paduka Seri Setia Ustaz Haji Awang Badaruddin bin Pengarah Dato Paduka Haji Awang Othman, Minister of Religious Affairs as the Chairman of KUPU SB Council; Yang Berhormat Pehin Datu Seri Maharaja Dato Paduka Seri Setia Doctor Ustaz Haji Awang Abdul Aziz bin Juned, the State Mufti; Yang Berhormat Pehin Orang Kaya Paduka Seri Utama Dato Paduka Seri Setia Haji Awang Salim bin Haji Besar, Chief Syarie Judge as Members of KUPU SB Council and Doctor Haji Adanan bin Haji Basar, Ra'es of KUPU SB.

The ceremony began with a recital of Surah Al-Fatihah led by the State Mufti.

The reading of Surah Al-Muddatstsir by the graduates echoed at the ICC. The Surah explains that Allah Subhanahu Wata'ala orders all Muslims to rise quickly and remind the people to worship and glorify Him. This is because Allah Subhanahu Wata'ala is the One who provides them with wealth and children, but most people are greedy, stubborn and disobedient.

In the welcoming speech, Doctor Haji Adanan highlighted the success of KUPU SB in producing its first graduates from the Bachelor in Religious Teaching degree programme as a success in the university's curriculum.

His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam then delivered the Chancellor's Titah of Authority.

From the 251 graduates who received degrees and diplomas, one received Bachelor of Religious Teaching in the Study of Ahli Sunnah Waljama'ah; 16 received Bachelor of Religious Teaching in Islamic Education while two others received Bachelor of Religious Teaching in Usuluddin.

31 graduates received Post-Graduate Diploma in Religious Teaching, six received Post-Graduate Diploma in Religious Teaching (Teaching of Arabic as a Second Language), 136 graduates received Bachelor of Religious Teaching in Islamic Education, 57 graduates received Higher Diploma in Religious Teaching (Islamic Education) and two received Diploma in the Study of Turath Books.

As an Institution of Higher Studies in Religious Teaching in the country, KUPU SB's role is to produce educators and leaders who are pious, authoritative, moral, competitive, open-minded, highly skilled and committed.  KUPU SB has also recorded a number of developments, including a modification of Al-Quran Studies Curriculum by increasing the course credits in academic courses.

KUPU SB is also starting to conduct showcases on understanding the principles of Maqasid Shari'ah or the Objective of Shari'ah at several government departments and Ministries.   Understanding the needs of an era that is changing rapidly towards multi-skilling and competencies, KUPU SB is now expanding its role in producing high quality graduates.

Doa selamat was read by the State Mufti.

KUPU SB is a unique landmark of Islam that exalts Religious Teaching Studies and the Treasure of Malay Turath Books.  Its foundation is the integration of Knowledge, Training, Research, Services, Technology and holistic self or national identity.  This is written as the mission of its establishment.  KUPU SB is hoped to shine as a world class institution of higher studies and a national pride.   This is in line with His Majesty's hope for KUPU SB to be a bountiful and beneficial institution that is blessed by Allah Subhanahu Wata'ala and capable of serving the country and the Muslim ummah in general.

News courtesy of Radio Television Brunei
Photo courtesy of InfoFoto

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His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu'izzaddin Waddaulah ibni Al- Marhum Sultan Haji Omar 'Ali Saifuddien Sa'adul Khairi Waddien, Sultan and Yang Di- Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam, in a titah says Brunei Darussalam welcomes efforts to strengthen APEC's economic and technical cooperation agenda which should promote more capacity building, sharing of best practices especially in  digitalisation and human resource development. Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam delivered the titah while joining Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, APEC Leaders for the 27th APEC Economic Leaders' Meeting (AELM) Leaders' Retreat, 20th November night. With the theme, "Optimising Human Potential Towards a Resilient Future of Shared Prosperity: Pivot, Prioritise, Progress" – held virtually via video conference from Baitul Mesyuarah, Istana Nurul Iman. His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di- Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam in a titah highlights that the COVID-19 pandemic is a test of APEC's relevance as an economic cooperation platform that has benefitted the people of APEC.

Earlier in the Meeting, Yang Amat Berhormat Tan Sri Dato' Haji Muhyiddin bin Haji Mohd. Yassin, the Prime Minister of Malaysia as the APEC Chairman for 2020 in his opening remarks recognised that APEC has provided the framework for its economies to implement economic ideas based on consensus, to further raise the prosperity of people in the region. The relevance of APEC is more pronounced to ensure affordable, accessible and equitable distribution of COVID-19 vaccines.

At the meeting, the leaders were presented with a report on the Global Economic Outlook by Ms. Kristalina Georgieva, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund, IMF.

The leaders touched on post-COVID-19 measures, the APEC Putrajaya Vision 2040 and the 2020 Kuala Lumpur Declaration. The APEC Putrajaya Vision 2040 fosters the participation of people, further allowing for a strong market system and multilateralism for open and fair trade and economic growth. Meanwhile, the 2020 Kuala Lumpur Declaration will promote sustainable and inclusive growth to further build a more resilient region that can benefit the people.

Leaders also highlighted the importance of innovation driven growth, and enhancing connectivity to facilitate the flow of goods, and people. Regional recovery also depends on fair, equitable and safe access to COVID-19 vaccines as well as structural reforms to develop local business ecosystems.  APEC must also prioritise the climate change agenda to achieve balance between the digital and green economies.

At the end of the Meeting, the APEC Putrajaya Vision 2040 and the 2020 Kuala Lumpur Declaration were adopted.

The Prime Minister of Malaysia then handed over the Chairmanship of APEC to The Right Honourable Jacinda Ardern, Prime Minister of New Zealand.

News courtesy of Radio Television Brunei
Photo courtesy of InfoFoto

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His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu'izzaddin Waddaulah ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Haji Omar 'Ali  Saifuddien Sa'adul Khairi Waddien Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam has consented to send messages of condolences to His Excellency Nguyen Phu Trong, General Secretary of the Communist Party of Viet Nam, President of the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam and His Excellency Nguyen Xuan Phuc, Prime Minister of the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam, the Government and the people of the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam following the heavy rainfall and Typhoon Vamco that resulted in the loss of lives and widespread devastation in Viet Nam.

News courtesy of Radio Television Brunei
Photo courtesy of InfoFoto

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