By Azaraimy HH in Jakarta
Military ties between Brunei Darussalam and the Republic of Indonesia were further strengthened with the conferment of two honorary titles to His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam yesterday.
His Majesty was conferred an "Honorary Pilot Wing" and made an "Honorary Member of the Special Air Forces Corps of the Indonesian Air Force" by Indonesian President Dr Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono at the Indonesian Air Force Headquarters in Cilangkap.
His Majesty received the honours during an anti-terrorism demonstration during the monarch's visit to the Indonesian Air Force Headquarters on the second day of the State Visit to the country.
The honorary titles were given to His Majesty in recognition of the constructive and noble role played by His Majesty in promoting closer bilateral ties.
During the State Banquet Tuesday night, His Majesty in his titah spoke about the defence cooperation between the two nations and said, "Bilateral training and exchange of visits enable our armies to gain knowledge and experience that can raise their proficiency level that is most needed in facing the current challenges."
The two countries had conducted a training called "3rd Elang Brunesia" between the air forces of the two nations in Banjarmasin in 2007.
The two nations signed a defence MoU in 2003. According to Indonesia, Brunei is also one of the Asean countries that purchases weapon components from the country.
His Majesty began the second day of the State Visit with an early morning walk with President Yudhoyono at the Indonesian Air Force Headquarters in Cilangkap.
After the walk, His Majesty and President Yudhoyono had breakfast before viewing a demonstration on anti-terrorism capabilities of the Bravo Detachment 90 Special Force, TNI.
This was followed by the conferment of the two titles.
His Majesty and President Yudhoyono then went to an auditorium to meet senior officials of the air force. Before leaving the headquarters, His Majesty consented to receive a "pesambah" from the Indonesian Air Force Chief of Staff.
His Majesty is accompanied by Her Majesty Raja Isteri Pg Anak Hjh Saleha on the State Visit.
Accompanying Their Majesties are HRH Prince Abdul Malik, HRH Princess Hajah Muta-Wakkilah Hayatul Bolkiah, HRH Princess Hafizah Sururul Bulqiah, HRH Princess Hajah Amal Umi Kalthum Al-Islam and YAM Pengiran Indera Setia Diraja Sahibul Karib Pengiran Anak Haji Idris bin Pengiran Maharaja Lela Pengiran Muda Abdul Kahar.
- Borneo Bulletin
(24th April 2008)