His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu'izzaddin Waddaulah ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Haji Omar 'Ali Saifuddien Sa'adul Khairi Waddien, Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam and Her Majesty Duli Raja Isteri Pengiran Anak Hajah Saleha binti Al-Marhum Pengiran Pemancha Pengiran Anak Haji Mohamed Alam, this morning received in audience Her Excellency Halimah Yacob, the President of the Republic of Singapore and spouse, Mr. Mohamed bin Abdullah Alhabshee who are in the country for a four day State Visit. The ceremony took place at Istana Nurul Iman.

The Official Welcoming Ceremony of the President of the Republic of Singapore's arrival took place at Istana Nurul Iman. More than 2 thousand school students lined the road to Istana Nurul Iman, waving miniature Brunei Darussalam and Republic of Singapore flags to welcome Her Excellency and spouse.

At Istana Nurul Iman, His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam and Her Majesty Duli Raja Isteri welcomed the President of the Republic of Singapore and spouse. Her Excellency and spouse were accompanied by His Majesty's son, His Royal Highness Prince Haji Al-Muhtadee Billah, the Crown Prince and Senior Minister at the Prime Minister's Office, as the personal representative of His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam and Her Royal Highness Paduka Seri Pengiran Anak Isteri Pengiran Anak Sarah binti Pengiran Haji Salleh Ab Rahaman from the Empire Hotel and Country Club.

Soon after arriving, His Majesty and Her Majesty Duli Raja Isteri together with Her Excellency Halimah Yacob and Mr Mohamed bin Abdullah Alhabshee, received the Honorary Salute. The national anthems of the Republic of Singapore and Brunei Darussalam were played, followed by a 21 cannon-fire salute.

His Majesty and the President of the Republic of Singapore then inspected the Guard of Honour mounted by the personnel of the Royal Brunei Land Force. This is the first visit by Her Excellency to the country since her appointment as the President of the Republic of Singapore on the 14th of September last year.

Brunei Darussalam and the Republic of Singapore established diplomatic relations in January 1984. The two countries cooperate extensively in various fields including defence, finance, trade and investment, tourism, health and education. The two nations also play a vital role in ASEAN.

Her Excellency the President of the Republic of Singapore and Mr. Mohamed bin Abdullah Alhabshee were then introduced to the members of the Royal Family, the Special Advisor to His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam and Minister at the Prime Minister's Office; Cabinet Ministers; members of the Privy Council, Deputy Ministers, Commissioner of the Royal Brunei Police Force, Commander of the Royal Brunei Armed Forces, Heads of Foreign Diplomatic Missions, Members of the Legislative Council, Permanent Secretaries at the Prime Minister's Office and Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

The members of the Her Excellency's delegation were then introduced to His Majesty and Her Majesty Duli Raja Isteri. The delegation included Mr. Heng Swee Keat, Minister of Finance; Dr. Mohamad Maliki bin Osman, Senior State Minister at the Ministry of Defence and Ministry of Foreign Affairs, His Excellency Lim Hong Huai, High Commissioner of the Republic of Singapore to the country, members of Parliament and Senior Officials from the Republic of Singapore.

His Majesty and Her Majesty Duli Raja Isteri as well as Her Excellency the President of the Republic of Singapore and spouse, proceeded to the Cheradi Laila Kenchana for the Audience Ceremony. Also in attendance were His Majesty's children, brothers and sisters,

- His Royal Highness Prince Haji Al Muhtadee Billah, the Crown Prince and Senior Minister at the Prime Minister's Office and Her Royal Highness Paduka Seri Pengiran Anak Isteri Pengiran Anak Sarah binti Pengiran Haji Salleh Ab Rahaman; ;

- His Royal Highness Prince 'Abdul Malik and Yang Amat Mulia Pengiran Anak Isteri Pengiran Raabi'atul 'Adawiyyah binti Pengiran Haji Bolkiah;

- His Royal Highness Prince 'Abdul Wakeel;

- His Royal Highness Prince Mohamed Bolkiah

- His Royal Highness Prince Haji Jefri Bolkiah

- Her Royal Highness Princess Ameerah Wardatul Bolkiah;

- Her Royal Highness Princess Hajah Masna, Ambassador-at-Large at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade and

- Her Royal Highness Princess Hajah Amal Umi Kalthum Al-Islam as well as other members of the royal family.

At the audience ceremony, His Majesty held a bilateral meeting with Her Excellency and delegation at the Cheradi Ratna Kenchana. Also in attendance was His Royal Highness the Crown Prince. During the meeting, His Majesty and Her Excellency discussed bilateral issues between Brunei Darussalam and the Republic of Singapore as well as exchanged views on regional and international matters of mutual interest.

His Majesty and Her Excellency the President of the Republic of Singapore then proceeded to the Baitul Mesyuarah to witness the signing of a Bilateral Agreement. Also present at the function was His Royal Highness the Crown Prince. The Innovation Functions Co-Operation Agreement between Autoriti Monetari Brunei Darussalam, AMBD, and the Monetary Authority of Singapore, MAS was signed by Awang Yusof bin Haji Abd Rahman, the Managing Director of AMBD; while signing on behalf of MAS was Ms Jacqueline Loh Wai Yin, Deputy Managing Director of MAS.

The function continued with the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding between Autoriti Monetari Brunei Darussalam and the Commercial Affairs Department, Singapore Police Force on Cooperation in the Exchange of Information Related to Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing. Signing on behalf of AMBD was Awang Yusof bin Haji Abd Rahman, Managing Director of AMBD, while Singapore's Commercial Affairs Department was represented by Mr. David Chew Siong Tai, Head of the department's Finance Unit.

Brunei Darussalam and the Republic of Singapore have long enjoyed a close and friendly relations before both countries achieved independence. The ties between the two nations are based on friendship, understanding and mutual respect. The long cooperation is also fostered in the Brunei and Singapore currency interchangeability that allows the two countries to share the same currency values. All this is a true and close relations which is long lasting between the two countries.

Source: Radio Television Brunei