TYT, state leaders discuss bilateral issues with Brunei Sultan

(From second right) Taib, Abang Johari and Awang Tengah during their audience with Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah (right) at Istana Darul Iman.

Queen Saleha (left) exchanging pleasantries with (from second left) Ragad and Juma’ani.

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN, Brunei: Sarawak’s close administrative and socio-economic ties with Brunei were underscored during an audience granted by its ruler Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah yesterday.

Head of State Tun Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud, accompanied by Chief Minister Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg and Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan, met with the Sultan of Brunei at Istana Darul Iman in conjunction with the ruler’s 71st birthday celebration.

Malaysian High Commissioner to Brunei, Datuk Ghulam Baharol Jelani was also in attendance at the meeting, where substantive issues were discussed in a warm atmosphere.

Taib was accompanied by his wife Toh Puan Datuk Patinggi Raghad Kurdi Taib, while Abang Johari and Tengah were joined by their respective spouses Datin Amar Datuk Juma’ani Tuanku Bujang and Datuk Dayang Morliah Awang Daud.

Awang Tengah is the minister-in-attendance for the Head of State’s visit to Brunei, while this is the first official trip to Brunei by Abang Johari since his appointment as chief minister earlier this year.

Raja Isteri of Brunei Queen Saleha received Ragad, Juma’ani and Datuk Dayang Morliah Awang Daud.

Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah granted audience to visiting foreign dignitaries in conjunction with his birthday, which was preceded by a ceremonial parade and an investiture ceremony for state and foreign dignitaries in the morning.

Over 1,200 participants from the Royal Brunei Armed Forces (RBAF), Royal Brunei Police Force (RBPF) and uniformed bodies took part in the ceremonial parade, including the Women Company of RBAF and RBPF making their debut this year alongside their male counterparts.

Meanwhile, Taib and Awang Tengah visited the Royal Brunei Mausoleum, where they joined the ‘tahlil’ (prayers for the dead).

They also visited old acquaintance Dr Awang Mohd Jamil, 96, at his residence here.

Dr Awang is the principal of Brunei History Centre.

Following the audience with Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah, Abang Johari took leave and flew back to Sarawak for the opening of the Rainforest World Music Festival.

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