His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu'izzaddin Waddaulah, the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Negara Brunei Darussalam, began his State Visit to Singapore today.
His Majesty and Her Majesty Raja Isteri Pengiran Anak Hajah Saleha received a ceremonial welcome at the Istana this morning. His Majesty paid a courtesy call on President Tony Tan Keng Yam, while Mrs Mary Tan hosted Her Majesty to tea and a tour of the Istana Heritage Gallery. President Tan and His Majesty noted the excellent state of bilateral relations, as well as the very warm and long-standing ties between the leaders and peoples of both countries. President Tan expressed appreciation for the visit of His Royal Highness Prince Haji Al-Muhtadee Billah, the Crown Prince of Negara Brunei Darussalam, to Singapore in November 2016 for the 4th Young Leaders' Programme (YLP), and noted that Deputy Prime Minister & Coordinating Minister for National Security Teo Chee Hean will be leading a delegation to Brunei later this year for the 5th YLP. President Tan thanked His Majesty for his strong support for the bilateral relationship, and said that Singapore looked forward to further enhancing our strong ties with Brunei.
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and His Majesty had a four-eye meeting where both leaders reaffirmed the special and close bilateral relationship. Both leaders welcomed the continued close cooperation between Singapore and Brunei over a wide spectrum, including finance, defence, education, security and health. Prime Minister Lee and His Majesty also discussed developments in the region and the importance of working together in regional and international fora to tackle the common challenges that both countries face. Prime Minister Lee and His Majesty agreed to keep up the regular exchanges on both sides, including strengthening the ties between the next-generation leadership.
To mark the 50th anniversary of the Currency Interchangeability Agreement between Singapore and Brunei, Prime Minister Lee and His Majesty jointly launched a set of two $50 commemorative polymer notes, comprising one Brunei $50 note and one Singapore $50 note, at the Istana. Under the Agreement, Singapore and Brunei accept the currency notes and coins issued by the other, and exchange them at par and without charge, into their own currency. Following the lunch hosted by Prime Minister Lee and Mrs Lee for Their Majesties and the Bruneian delegation, both leaders jointly officiated the opening of the co-curated exhibition titled Abode of Peace & the Lion City: A Brunei-Singapore Exhibition at the Singapore Philatelic Museum. The exhibition showcases the deep-rooted friendship and diplomatic relations between both countries through artefacts, stamps and other philatelic materials, as well as multimedia exhibits. The first component of the exhibition will run in Singapore from 6 July 2017 to 28 February 2018, and the second component in Brunei from November 2017 to April 2018.
This evening, President Tan and Mrs Tan will host a State Banquet in honour of Their Majesties at the Istana.
Source: Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Singapore