Malaysia-Brunei to engage in vaccine diplomacy


BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN – Kuala Lumpur and Bandar Seri Begawan are looking at vaccine diplomacy in addressing the current common challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin (picture) and Sultan of Brunei Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah said the cooperation would be centred upon reciprocal vaccination arrangement for both nationals covering diplomats, students and expatriates.

They also agreed in ensuring access to vaccine supplies for both nations and reciprocal mutual recognition of vaccination certificates between Malaysia and Brunei as it would facilitate cross-border movement of the people.

They mentioned this in a six-page joint statement at the end of the 23rd Annual Leaders’ Consultation at the Istana Nurul Iman here Monday. Muhyiddin is on the final day of the two-day official visit to this country in conjunction with the annual leaders’ consultation.

Both leaders also agreed in principle to establish a Reciprocal Green Lane (RGL), with effective COVID-19 prevention and control measures, to facilitate essential business and official travel between both countries.

Muhyiddin and Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah also underscored the importance of revitalising and protecting the socio-economic stability of both countries and the people.

On the bilateral front, both leaders also reaffirmed their commitment to further nurture this special relationship by broadening and strengthening collaboration in an array of mutually beneficial areas.

They expressed their appreciation for the collaboration between the two governments, particularly in managing the repatriation of their respective citizens stranded in each other’s country and other countries during the pandemic.

“This is a testament to the close and enduring ties between the two countries and their peoples,” they said.

The leaders also want to enhance closer economic cooperation including in agriculture, fisheries, education as well as connectivity, trade and tourism.

Muhyiddin and Sultan Hassanal also touched on close defence ties as well as youth and sports, as well as enhancing connectivity and collaboration in transport sectors.

“Both leaders reaffirmed their commitment to undertake mutual cooperation in the areas of information and communication technology, including multimedia and cybersecurity,” said the joint statement.

They also welcomed the progress made towards finalising the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Info-Communications Media.

On the MoU between the two governments on cooperation in disaster management signed at the end of the leaders’ consultation, they said it would strengthen ties in the area, particularly through training, joint exercise, operation and the exchange of expertise and information related to disaster prevention and risk reduction.

The Unitisation Agreement between Petronas and Brunei National Unitisation Secretariat inked Monday too, will provide positive momentum to the oil and gas cooperation between both countries.