Brunei, S’pore to cooperate further in narcotics, prison matters

National 1 minute, 35 seconds

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

BRUNEI and Singapore have pledged further cooperation in narcotics and prison matters, after the neighbours signed a “Letter of Intent” yesterday signalling closer collaboration on security issues.

“(Narcotics) are cross-boundary issues.

“We are both small countries so there are a lot of similarities, so the problems we confront are common,” said Tan Tee How, permanent secretary at Singapore’s Ministry of Home Affairs.

Speaking to local media after a signing ceremony at the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) building, he explained that his government had a keen interest in emulating Brunei’s drug rehabilitation programme for prison inmates.

“In this area, Brunei has a very successful model that integrates the community, the family and religion. This is one of the things that we are focusing on.”

Brunei and Singapore already have extensive cooperation in several areas, including training exchanges for police and military personnel.

Tan said the ‘Letter of Intent’ would provide a platform that will allow the two countries “to do even more things together”.

“Brunei and Singapore are very old friends and in many different areas we work very closely together… We will do even more going forward.”

He added that representatives from the two countries will meet soon to plot future areas of cooperation.

Signing the agreement on behalf of PMO yesterday was Permanent Secretary (Security and Enforcement), Dato Paduka Hj Hamdan Hj Abu Bakar, while Tan represented the Singapore government.

The Minister of Energy at PMO, Pehin Datu Singamanteri Colonel (Rtd) Dato Seri Setia (Dr) Hj Mohd Yasmin Hj Umar, was also present to witness the signing ceremony.

According to Tan, the minister suggested exchange programmes for young civil servants as a way to improve government-to-government ties.

“We feel it is important we have good relations at all levels, not just among senior officials.

“So this is one of the areas we will be following up on,” he said.

The Brunei Times