Sultan in M'sia for talks
By M K Anwar

His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam and Malaysian Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi arrived yesterday at Kuala Terengganu for a meeting today in conjunction with the 10th Annual Consultation.

His Majesty is in Malaysia on a three-day working visit.

His Majesty arrived at the RMAF terminal of the Sultan Ahmad Shah Airport in Kuantan, Pahang, at 6.30pm, accompanied by a 20-member delegation, and was welcomed by Malaysian Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar as the accompanying minister, Bernama reported.

Also in attendance were Tengku Mahkota Pahang, Tengku Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah, and the state's Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Adnan Yaakob.

His Majesty and Abdullah, who had arrived earlier, later left for Awana Kijal, Golf, Beach & Spa Resort near Kemaman, where the meeting is scheduled to be held today.

Earlier at the Brunei International Airport, His Majesty was bid farewell by His Royal Highness Prince Hj Al-Muhtadee Billah, the Crown Prince and Senior Minister at the Prime Minister's Office, His Royal Highness Prince Mohamed Bolkiah, HRH Prince Hj Sufri Bolkiah and HRH Prince Abdul Malik.

According to a statement issued by the Malaysian Foreign Ministry, at 3pm today, the two leaders are scheduled to have a four-eye meeting at the hotel, followed by a press conference by Abdullah later.

The two leaders would then attend a dinner, hosted by the Prime Minister, at the same hotel.

On Friday, Abdullah and His Majesty would attend a luncheon hosted by the Sultan of Terengganu, Sultan Mizan Zainal Abidin, at the hotel. Later, the two leaders and the Sultan of Terengganu are expected to perform Friday prayers at the Beris Meraga Mosque in Kijal.

Last year the annual meeting was held in Brunei. The topics discussed between the two leaders included regional and international issues of mutual interest, encompassing political, economic and security areas.

Both leaders agreed to set up a high level mechanism under the purview of the respective Ministry of Foreign Affairs to undertake collaboration in these areas. The mechanism was to complement the work of the Brunei Darussalam-Malaysia Joint Commission (JCM).

The joint statement last year also stated that greater consultations were further encouraged by both leaders between their respective government agencies and private sectors with the view to broaden the scope of bilateral ties.

They also reaffirmed the value of closer coordination and consultation between Brunei and Malaysia in various regional and international forays.

The issue of Limbang and the oil rights are some of the issues that remain to be addressed by both countries.

The maritime border issue between Malaysia and Brunei arises from the overlapping claims over Blocks J and K deep waters in Brunei's EEZ and Malaysia's Blocks L and M.

The Malaysian PM last year did say that enough had been said about it (Limbang), and so far it had not affected Brunei-Malaysia ties. He also said that both leaders have urged senior officials of both sides to continue with the discussion and explore all means to resolve the issue as soon as possible.

The two leaders were satisfied with the Malaysia-Brunei collaboration in defence, health, police, education, finance, information and broadcasting.

These successes were among the 11 items that the Ninth Annual Consultation had achieved in Brunei. - Borneo Bulletin (24th August 2006)