Thai Muslim delegates keen to learn from Brunei counterparts

National 2 minutes, 11 seconds


THE head of a delegation of Thai Muslims visiting Brunei said yesterday that the communities of Thailand’s southern provinces can learn from their Bruneian counterparts.

Speaking to The Brunei Times, Director of Rajapark Institute’s Yala Campus Prof Kasem Benchawong, said there were many similarities between Brunei and Southern Thailand which makes it easier for both sides to collaborate and understand one another.

“We wanted to come here (Brunei) because the people from Southern Thailand are mainly Malay Muslims like it is in Brunei so in the future we hope to be able to cooperate in various fields and learn from each other,” he said.

He added: “Some examples of the fields in which cooperation is possible is in culture and history. We could learn from both sides how we have kept with our traditions and how to share it with others.”

He said that the delegation’s visit to Tutong was in line with the interests of members of the delegation. “Our delegation comprises people from various vocations including imams, literature lecturers and students so our activities in the district are also planned around mutual interests to see how Tutong natives showcase their culture,” he said.

Benchawong said he hopes to see a delegation from the district’s mukims and villages visit Yala in the near future. “InsyaAllah we will be seeing our Bruneian friends in Yala soon. I have already extended an invitation so we are hoping that they would reciprocate in the coming months,” he said.

Benchawong led a delegation of 55 from the Rajapark Institute, a university located in the southern Thai city of Yala, in a visit to various institutions in Tutong yesterday.

In a media statement, the Tutong District Office said that the purpose of the visit is to strengthen the ties between the delegation from Thailand’s southernmost province and members of the mukim and village consultative councils in the district.

The delegation first visited the Tutong district office where they were given a tour of its One Village, One Product gallery showcasing the various handmade products of the district’s villages.

They then visited the headquarters of the Tutong New Converts Association (PESATU) in Kg Lubok Pulau where they were received by the PESATU President Hj Hasbie Azrol Abdullah Liat, the former Legislative Council member Orang Kaya Maha Bijaya Hj Othman Uking and other association members and given a short presentation on its history and functions.

The group ended their tour at the home of local poet Hj Moksin Hj Kadir in Kg Tanjung Maya who gave them a tour of the collection of his published works.

The Brunei Times