PM Anwar to bring up Sarawak’s proposals for bilateral cooperation with Brunei Sultan tomorrow

Anwar (right) sharing a light moment with Abang Johari (centre) and Hajiji before the Malaysian Pre-Council Meeting on Jan 24, 2023. Photo: Office of Premier of Sarawak

KUCHING, Jan 24: Prime Minister Dato Seri Anwar Ibrahim will bring up a list of proposals to strengthen bilateral cooperation between Sarawak and Brunei Darussalam during his meeting with Brunei’s Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah tomorrow.

According to a statement from the Sarawak government through Office of Premier of Sarawak (OPS), the proposals transpired from the Malaysian Pre-Council Meeting held earlier today.

The meeting was attended by Premier of Sarawak Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg and Chief Minister of Sabah Datuk Seri Panglima Hajiji Noor.

Both Abang Johari and Hajiji are also joining Anwar’s delegation for the two-day work visit to Brunei starting today.

Firstly, the pre-council meeting decided on strengthening the Brunei-Sarawak Joint Committee at the ministerial level and to be assisted by a Joint Working Group at senior officials’ level for bilateral relationship.

Other proposals include:

1) Sarawak hopes to extend the Brunei-Malaysia Frequent Traveller Programme (BMFTP) to Merapok-Sindumin Customs, Immigration, Quarantine and Security (CIQS) to facilitate travellers to Kota Kinabalu by having the operation hours to resume normally from 6am to 12am, as well as explore digitalisation of processes at both checkpoints to fast-track the movement of travellers.

2) Malaysia and Brunei to expedite demarcation and survey works on land boundaries between both countries.

3) Sarawak requests Brunei to reduce the gradient of the road between Mengkalap CIQS in Sarawak and Labu Temburong Immigration Control Post in Brunei to ensure the safety of road users.

4) Sarawak would like to strengthen collaboration in telecommunications to provide connectivity within Sarawak and Brunei as well as to serve as an international gateway.

5) Sarawak offers to assist Brunei to achieve the target of 10 per cent generation mix powered by renewable energy by 2035 under the Paris Agreement initiatives.

6) Sarawak to collaborate with Brunei to further develop the tourism industry through joint tourism promotions and events as well as promote Borneo as a tourism destination leveraging on Brunei Airport as an international travel hub for the region through the opening of Sarawak Trade and Tourism Office (STATO).

7) Sarawak to collaborate in the agriculture sector with Brunei through private sector initiatives focusing on paddy, livestock and fisheries leveraging on Sarawak’s capacity as a production hub and Brunei’s processing, connectivity and Halal brand for Middle-East markets.

8) Sarawak welcomes investment from Brunei for manufacturing activities in high-tech industries in Kuching, Halal-related activities in Tanjung Manis, oil and gas industries in Bintulu and Lawas, and heavy industries in Samalaju. Sarawak’s Petroleum Sarawak Berhad (Petros) also welcomes investment to develop oil and gas downstream activities.

9) Sarawak welcomes Brunei for joint border development along the highway for commercial property and industrial parks as well as to promote local products globally.

10) Sarawak is developing infrastructure connectivity in the northern region which is to be integrated with Brunei’s road network. Sarawak is proposing to construct a new road from Lumapas in Brunei to Pendam in Limbang, which is to be integrated with the Northern Coastal Highway (NCH).

11) Sarawak offers to sell raw and treated water for industry, agriculture and domestic usage to Brunei.

— DayakDaily