The Seminar on the Bilateral Relations between Indonesia and Brunei Darussalam was held at Senate Room, Chancellor Hall, Universiti Brunei Darussalam, on Wednesday, 22 September 2010 from 09.00 am to 15.10 pm. The one-day Seminar was held by the Embassy of the Republic of Indonesia in Bandar Seri Begawan in cooperation with Universiti Brunei Darussalam. The purpose of organizing of this Seminar was two-fold: first, to commemorate the 65th Anniversary of Indonesia’s Independence and celebrate 26 years of the diplomatic relations between Indonesia and Brunei Darussalam; and second, to promote awareness among the public on the robust bilateral relations and cooperation between Indonesia and Brunei Darussalam.
The Seminar was attended by around 150 participants of various professional backgrounds, from Brunei Darussalam Government officials, foreign diplomats, leaders of business associations and youth organizations, historians, economists, students and parties involved in environmental issues. The Seminar was officially opened by the Honorable Pehin Udana Khatib Seri Setia Ustaz Hj. Awang Badaruddin bin Pengarah Dato Paduka Hj. Othman, Minister of Home Affairs of Brunei Darussalam, who also delivered his Opening Remarks, while Associate Professor Dr Mohd. Gary Jones, Dean of Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences of Universiti Brunei Darussalam, conveyed his Welcoming Remarks. His Excellency Mr. Handriyo Kusumo Priyo, Ambassador of the Republic of Indonesia to Brunei Darussalam, gave his Keynote address. The Honourable Pehin Datu Lailaraja Mejar Jeneral (Bersara) Dato Paduka Seri Haji Awang Halbi bin Haji Mohd Yussof, Deputy Minister of Home Affairs of Brunei Darussalam, and Dr. Hj. Zulkarnaen Hj. Hanafi, Vice-Chancellor of Universiti Brunei Darussalam were also present at the Opening Session of the Seminar.
The Minister of Home Affairs of Brunei Darussalam welcomed the initiative of the Embassy of the Republic of Indonesia in organizing a Seminar on the Bilateral Relations between Indonesia and Brunei Darussalam. As the former and the second Ambassador of Brunei Darussalam to Indonesia, he noted how the Indonesians and Bruneians shared similar roots of culture, traditions and language. These similarities have brought Bruneians and Indonesians to close friendship and cooperation on personal and national levels. This is also a valuable asset in bringing the two nations even closer.
In his Welcoming Remarks, the Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences of Universiti Brunei Darussalam expressed his pleasure at being able to welcome friends and colleagues from Indonesia to the University and hoped that the fruitful academic, social and cultural links that existed between the two countries would continue and even strengthen in the future.
The Ambassador of the Republic of Indonesia in his Keynote speech said that there were a lot of aspects in the bilateral relations between Indonesia and Brunei Darussalam that could be further discussed. The topics of the presentations raised in the seminar were about the history of the relations between Indonesia and Brunei Darussalam, their trade cooperation and within the ASEAN sphere, as well as common environmental concerns of Indonesia and Brunei Darussalam.
Seven speakers delivered their presentations during the seminar including His Excellency Pg. Dato Paduka Hj. Jaludin Hj. Mohd. Limbang, former and the first Ambassador of Brunei Darussalam to Indonesia, four lecturers of Universiti Brunei Darussalam, namely Dr Hajah Dulima binti Haji Jali and Dr Lik Ariffin Mansurnoor of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, and Dr Teo Siew Yean and Shahrin bin Haji Mohd. Tamit from the Faculty of Business, Economics and Policy Studies; and two speakers from Indonesia, Dr. Amanda Katili-Niode, Coordinator of the Division of Communications, Information and Education at the National Council for Climate Change of the Republic of Indonesia and formerly an Expert Senior Staff to the Minister of Environment of the Republic of Indonesia, and Dr. Adrian Panggabean, an economist who previously served under the Prime Minister’s Office of Brunei Darussalam.
The Seminar proceeded with fruitful discussions among its participants and came up with several positive and constructive ideas on how the peoples of the two countries could support their respective Governments to contribute to the advancement of cooperation between Indonesia and Brunei Darussalam.
On the evening of 21 September 2010, the night before the day of the Seminar, a diplomatic reception was held at the Radisson Hotel, Bandar Seri Begawan, in conjunction with the 65th Anniversary of Indonesia’s Independence, with the Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports, Pehin Orang Kaya Pekerma Laila Diraja Dato Paduka Awang Haji Hazair bin Haji Abdullah, and his wife as the guests of honour, and the reception was attended by around 250 guests, consisting of Government Officials, diplomatic community members, business society and friends of Indonesia.
At the diplomatic reception, the Indonesian Javanese traditional gamelan instruments were played by the wives of the Indonesian citizens working in Brunei Darussalam. In his remarks, the Indonesian Ambassador said that after 26 years of the diplomatic relations between Indonesia and Brunei Darussalam, Indonesia and Brunei Darussalam managed to leverage the bilateral relations of the two countries to the higher level, marked among others by the intensity of the mutual visits of the two Heads of States and other Government officials, as well the enhancement of the bilateral cooperation between the two countries in various fields.