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PM Wong thanks Brunei sultan for 40 years of diplomatic relations, commits to strengthen ‘special relationship’

KUALA LUMPUR: In his first overseas trip after taking office as Singapore’s Prime Minister, Mr Lawrence Wong on Tuesday (Jun 11) thanked Brunei’s Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah for his steadfast support of diplomatic relations over the last 40 years. 

The two countries formally established diplomatic relations in 1984.

Mr Wong reaffirmed Singapore’s commitment to continue strengthening the special relationship between the two countries, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) said in a press statement.

“Singapore and Brunei enjoy a special relationship, which predates the formal establishment of diplomatic ties between our two nations,” Mr Wong said in a Facebook post on Tuesday.

He added that both countries have stood by each other “through good times and bad” over the last four decades.

“As two of the smallest countries in the region, we share similar perspectives across many strategic issues. I value the close links with Brunei and that’s why Brunei is my first stop in my introductory visits to Southeast Asian capitals,” said Mr Wong, who is also the Finance Minister.

Earlier in the day, Mr Wong, together with his wife Loo Tze Lui and the Singapore delegation, was hosted to a welcome ceremony at the Brunei International Airport by Crown Prince Al-Muhtadee Billah, a senior minister at Brunei’s Prime Minister’s Office, and his wife Sarah.

Mr Wong was accompanied by Foreign Affairs Minister Vivian Balakrishnan, Minister for Sustainability and the Environment and Minister-in-charge of Trade Relations Grace Fu, National Development Minister Desmond Lee and Ms Rahayu Mahzam, Minister of State for Communications and Information.

The Singapore delegation had a royal audience with the sultan and his wife Queen Saleha at the Istana