Brunei Update: June 10, 2018

Brunei Update | June 10, 2018
Authors: Kim Yaeger and Artha Sirait
 
LOOKING AHEAD
 
 
June 11 - Roundtable with H.E. Dato Seri Paduka Haji Erywan, Second Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade: Please join us for a roundtable discussion with H.E. Dato Erywan, on Monday, June 11 from 11:15 AM - 12:00 PM during his visit to Washington, DC. During the roundtable, Dato Erywan will provide an update on Brunei's latest development following the cabinet reshuffle in February, as well as on policies and trends in Brunei. Click here to register
 
THE COUNCIL'S TAKE
 
 

Brunei Strengthening Cooperation with Singapore; Indonesia

On May 12, Singapore President Halimah Yacob visited Brunei on her first state visit since she took office in September 2017. President Halimah met with Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah and the two leaders witnessed the signing of two major bilateral agreements: the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to exchange information related to money laundering and terrorist financing; and an agreement on financial technology cooperation. The MOU is specifically between Singapore’s Suspicious Transaction Reporting Office and Brunei’s Financial Intelligence Unit. The two agencies will exchange information on suspicious transactions, cross-border movement of cash to combat money laundering and also prevent terrorist financing. Meanwhile the agreement on financial technology cooperation is specifically between the Monetary Authority of Singapore and Brunei’s Monetary Authority in which the two agencies will share information on the developments and trends of financial technologies in their respective countries and potentially exploring joint innovation projects.

Previously on May 3, Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah met with Indonesian President Joko Widodo in Bogor, Indonesia to discuss ways to expand Brunei-Indonesia bilateral ties. The two leaders agreed to expand economic cooperation and investment, in addition to a better cooperation in protecting Indonesian migrant workers in Brunei. There are currently at least 80,000 Indonesians living and working in Brunei, which makes up for 20 percent of the 400,000 population in Brunei. As a follow-up to this discussion, Indonesia is currently preparing a draft MOU on the protection of Indonesian migrant workers in Brunei which will be further discussed by the two countries in due course. On economy and trade, Brunei and Indonesia agreed to develop the island of Kalimantan through integrated land, sea and air connectivity although no specifics were provided. On security, both countries also agreed to strengthen their military and security cooperation in combatting terrorism and radicalism – which also includes discussions on defense equipment. The Indonesia-Brunei bilateral relationship has gradually evolved and grown to include a defense aspect including training and opportunities on defense equipment. This was also discussed in October 2017 when President Jokowi visited Brunei as part of the commemoration of the 50th anniversary of Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah’s rule. President Jokowi stated that his discussions with the Sultan included opportunities for Brunei to purchase defense equipment from Indonesia, and the Sultan also witnessed several exhibitions of Indonesia’s military capabilities and equipment during his visit to Indonesia as well. Indonesia under President Jokowi has been relatively more active in advertising its defense products at home and abroad to select countries as it promotes opportunity for its local defense industry. Despite this discussion, it remains unclear whether there will be sales from Indonesia’s state-owned enterprise PT Pindad to Brunei although PT Pindad’s Corporate Secretary had mentioned that engagements are expected following these high-level discussions between the two leaders.

 
 
IN THIS UPDATE
 
 
Regional Affairs
Better late than never? Brunei and its role in the Fintech revolution
Singapore, Brunei ink pacts to boost cooperation in finance
Brunei sells stake in Jordan Phosphate to Indian firms
President Halimah makes first state visit, to Brunei

National Affairs
The Sultan of Brunei has ploughed £20m into Graze's backer
Islam in Brunei Darussalam
Sustainability is key focus of Green Brunei
Brunei economy poised for giant leap next year

Defense & Security
Weapon Sales Talk Puts Indonesia-Brunei Defense Ties in the Spotlight

Energy
Brunei enters new era of green technology

Food & Agriculture
Girl Guides donate food items to 22 families
Eight students end aquaculture and seafood industry training 
Singapore firm to invest BND300M for fish farming 
JPKE sets ceiling prices for essential food items 

Health & Life Sciences
MP to broach ‘abandoned’ Lawas Hospital project with Health Ministry
Health Experts Say ALL Sausage And Bacon Products Cause Diseases Like Cancer
Brunei Medical Association distributes 700 Sungkai food packs to hospital patients, staff
Brunei reaffirms healthcare commitment
Eat healthy, exercise regularly, advises physician 
Call to create awareness on occupational health in construction sector 
Red flag raised on health products 
MoH announces operating hours of health centres 
Striving towards medical professional excellence 

ICT
Brunei digital govt strategy in spotlight at AMRI conference
Brunei calls for legal framework to protect user data online
Singapore, Brunei ink deals to boost cooperation in FinTech, counter money laundering
Brunei's digital ecosystem to spur national growth
 
ARTICLE CLIPS
 
 
Regional Affairs

Better late than never? Brunei and its role in the Fintech revolution ASEAN Today 6th Jun 2018
Brunei has good reasons to pursue Fintech. The country must start to reduce its economic dependence on gas and oil. Fintech development is one option Brunei is exploring. In March 2017, the Autoriti Monetari Brunei Darussalam (AMBD) committed to Fintech development. The authorities see Fintech as a tool to help stabilise Brunei’s banking industry.

Singapore, Brunei ink pacts to boost cooperation in finance The Business Times 6th Jun 2018
Financial cooperation between Singapore and Brunei received a boost on Saturday with the signing of two new agreements.

Brunei sells stake in Jordan Phosphate to Indian firms Reuters 27th May 2018
Brunei, the largest shareholder in Jordan Phosphate Mines Company (JPMC), has agreed to sell a 37 percent stake to India’s two largest importers and producers of fertilisers in a deal worth around $130 million, the Amman stock exchange said on Sunday.

President Halimah makes first state visit, to Brunei The Straits Times 11th May 2018
President Halimah Yacob will make a four-day state visit to Brunei from today, at the invitation of Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah. This is Madam Halimah's first overseas state visit. 

National Affairs

The Sultan of Brunei has ploughed £20m into Graze's backer City AM 5th Jun 2018
The Sultan of Brunei, Hassanal Bolkiah, has made the country's first investment in a UK listed company, writing a £20m cheque through the sovereign wealth fund Brunei Investment Agency (BIA) for venture capital firm Draper Esprit.

Islam in Brunei Darussalam Borneo Bulletin Online 4th Jun 2018
The Secretariat Office of the Malay Islamic Monarchy (MIB) Supreme Council on October 30, 2017 was invited to present a talk entitled ‘Islam in Brunei: The Coming and Dissemination’ at the International Conference: The Early Islam and Culture in Southeast Asia seminar organised by the University of North Sumatra in collaboration with Universiti Sains Malaysia to gather and document the early arrival of Islam in the Malay world as source of reference and publication.

Sustainability is key focus of Green Brunei Borneo Bulletin Online 3rd Jun 2018
Green Brunei is focussed on promoting environmental sustainability through youth-led initiatives in the fields of education, conservation and advocacy, said a member of the Legislative Council and Co-founder and Community Engagement Director of the eco-conservation group Yang Berhormat Khairunnisa binti Haji Ash’ari.

Brunei economy poised for giant leap next year Borneo Bulletin Online 18th May 2018
Brunei Darussalam’s gross domestic product (GDP) growth is expected to pick up to one per cent in 2018 reflecting higher oil output and shoot drastically to eight per cent next year, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said in its latest Regional Economic Outlook for Asia and the Pacific.

Defense & Security

Weapon Sales Talk Puts Indonesia-Brunei Defense Ties in the Spotlight The Diplomat 6th Jun 2018
One of the agenda items that made headlines during Brunei’s Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah’s visit to Indonesia last week was discussions around defense equipment. 

Energy

Brunei enters new era of green technology Borneo Bulletin 28th May 2018
A SIGNIFICANT development recently took place in Brunei Darussalam as a ground breaking ceremony was held for the construction of the world’s first global hydrogen supply chain demonstration plant at a project site located at Sungai Liang Industrial Park (SPARK). 

Food & Agriculture

Girl Guides donate food items to 22 families Borneo Bulletin Online 20th May 2018
A TOTAL of 22 less fortunate families comprising members of the Girl Guides Association of Brunei Darussalam (PPPBD) from primary to secondary schools throughout the country received donation in the form of food items. 

Eight students end aquaculture and seafood industry training – Borneo Bulletin Online 17th May 2018
A GROUP of eight students from the Chihlee University of Technology (CLUT) completed their internship programme at Golden Corporation Sdn Bhd. The internship programme is part of a collaboration arrangement between CLUT and Golden Corporation Sdn Bhd. 

Singapore firm to invest BND300M for fish farming – Borneo Bulletin Online 13th May 2018
BARRAMUNDI Asia, a Singaporean fish farming firm, will invest BND300 million to rear barramundi, or sea bass, in large cages in Brunei’s open seas. 

JPKE sets ceiling prices for essential food items – Borneo Bulletin Online 9th May 2018
THE Department of Economic Planning and Development (JPKE), Prime Minister’s Office, with the Department of Agriculture and Agrifood, Ministry of Primary Resources and Tourism, set the maximum prices (ceiling prices) for several selected food items during the festive season year of 1439 Hijrah/2018.

Health & Life Sciences

MP to broach ‘abandoned’ Lawas Hospital project with Health Ministry Borneo Bulletin Online 6th Jun 2018
The proposed Lawas Hospital project will be brought to the attention of the Health Ministry. Selangau Member of Parliament Baru Bian said this after learning that the hospital which was already approved for construction back in 2011 at a cost of RM121 million and scheduled to be ready in three years had yet to be completed. 

Health Experts Say ALL Sausage And Bacon Products Cause Diseases Like Cancer BruDirect 30th May 2018
The new cancer guidelines laid out by the World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF) have put bacon, sausage and other meaty treats on blast, declaring that there is no “safe” amount of these favorite foods. 

Brunei Medical Association distributes 700 Sungkai food packs to hospital patients, staff Borneo Bulletin Online 29th May 2018
BRUNEI Medical Association (BMA) members distributed 700 Sungkai food packs to patients, visitors and staff of Raja Isteri Pengiran Anak Saleha (RIPAS) Hospital on Saturday. 

Brunei reaffirms healthcare commitment Borneo Bulletin Online 28th May 2018
BRUNEI Darussalam is placing health as one of the key priorities in its Brunei Vision 2035 long-term national development plan envisioned to contribute to the country achieving a high quality of life and a dynamic and sustainable economy. 

Eat healthy, exercise regularly, advises physician – Borneo Bulletin Online 21st May 2018
OVER 75 Malayali Association (MA) members and people from the Malayali community in Brunei attended an informative talk titled ‘Awareness on Medical Emergencies’ organised by MA at the Serikandi Restaurant Hall, Kuala Belait recently. 

Call to create awareness on occupational health in construction sector – Borneo Bulletin Online 18th May 2018
THE Public Works Department (JKR) under the Ministry of Development recently hosted a construction industry forum in conjunction with World Day for Safety and Health at Work celebrated on April 28. 

Red flag raised on health products – Borneo Bulletin Online 16th May 2018
THE Ministry of Health (MoH) has raised the red flag on two types of health products, following an alert through the ASEAN Post Marketing Alert System by Food and Drug Administration, Thailand. The affected products are found to be adulterated with undeclared, potent western medicine.

MoH announces operating hours of health centres – Borneo Bulletin Online 16th May 2018
THE Ministry of Health (MoH) informed the public about the operating hours for health care services at health centres throughout Ramadhan 1439H/2018. 

Striving towards medical professional excellence – Borneo Bulletin Online 8th May 2018
NEWLY elected Brunei Medical Association (BMA) committee members met Minister of Health Dato Paduka Dr Haji Mohd Isham bin Jaafar in a courtesy call recently at Mulia Hotel. 

ICT

Brunei digital govt strategy in spotlight at AMRI conference Borneo Bulletin Online 11th May 2018
Praising Brunei Darussalam’s digital government strategy, Minister for Finance of Singapore Heng Swee Keat said it includes programmes for enhanced delivery of digital services and provides a unique identity for every citizen and business and improved tools and processes for information management. 

Brunei calls for legal framework to protect user data online The Scoop 10th May 2018
Fake news threatens to disrupt the social harmony and peaceful foundation of ASEAN if not tackled swiftly, said a senior Brunei official on Thursday. 

Singapore, Brunei ink deals to boost cooperation in FinTech, counter money laundering Channel NewsAsia 14th May 2018
Two agreements were signed between Singapore and Brunei on Saturday (May 12), to boost cooperation in Financial Technology (FinTech) as well as to strengthen the exchange of information to combat money laundering and terrorist financing. 

Brunei's digital ecosystem to spur national growth The ASEAN Post 7th May 2018
Wawasan Brunei 2035 is a developmental framework that was first formulated in 2004 by the country’s monarch, Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah. Also identified as Brunei Vision 2035, this project aims to propel the country to greater heights on many fronts. When measured by the highest international standards, Wawasan Brunei 2035 looks to build a citizenry that is not only well-educated but highly-skilled.