Indian vice president lauds expats’ services to Brunei
INDIAN Vice President Mohammad Hamid Ansari yesterday praised the Indian community here for their services in Brunei.
The vice president, who is on a three-day visit, said he had received positive comments from Bruneian officials on the quality work that the Indians in Brunei have provided.
“You have done excellent work and I am absolutely confident that in the years to come, you will continue to do that work consciously or otherwise build bridges between your home country and your host country” he said during a reception with the Indian community at The Empire Hotel and Country Club.
Mohammad Hamid said India and Brunei will be collaborating on more activities that will bring the countries closer together ,and that the Indian community will play an important role in this process.
There are about 10,000 Indians living in Brunei.
“It was a proud moment for me to hear so much praise for the Indian community,” said Indian High Commissioner to Brunei Nagma Mohamed Mallick.
She added that she looks forward to promoting stronger cooperation between Brunei and India.
Earlier yesterday, the vice president paid a courtesy call on Legislative Council (LegCo) Speaker Yang Berhormat Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Lela Dato Seri Setia Hj Abdul Rahman Dato Setia Hj Mohamed Taib.
During the courtesy call, which was also attended by LegCo members and Indian parliament members, both parties exchanged views on various issues of mutual concern.
Speaking to reporters, Anil Wadhwa, secretary (East) at India’s Ministry of External Affairs, said the vice president had touched on how the Indian parliament works during the courtesy call.
The Legislative Council speaker was also invited to visit India, he said.
On the sidelines of the event, Bhupender Yadav, one of the Indian parliament members, said both parties talked about different aspects of possible cooperation.
“Both countries have a capacity to grow together,” said Yadav.
He hoped both countries can work together as India now places priority in realising its Act East Policy after its Look East Policy was launched in early 1990s.
“We want to establish more friendly relations with ASEAN countries,” he said, referring to the 10 members states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, in which Brunei is a member.
He said Brunei has a good future because of all the potential it has such as rich resources, education system and healthcare system.
“We feel that in the future the cooperation between the two countries will be further enhanced.”
Earlier, the vice president and his spouse, Salma Ansari, paid a visit to Masjid Sultan Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien (SOAS) located in the capital.
The visit began with a video presentation on the history of the mosque, followed by an exchange of gifts.
According to the Indian High Commission in Brunei, the stopover to the mosque was part of the delegation’s wish to observe the beauty of the mosque and understand the history behind the mosque.
On hand to receive the visitors was Permanent Secretary of Religious Affairs Dato Seri Setia Ustaz Hj Abd Aziz Orang Kaya Maharaja Lela Hj Yussof.
The Brunei Times