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Steps afoot on Asean Summit security
Publication Date : 04-01-2013
Brunei's chairmanship of Asean began this week, marking another historic milestone for the country and its people.
As the region casts its eyes on the Sultanate, preparations are in full swing with the relevant government agencies pledging to boost security and safety at the forthcoming summits slated for April and November.
Speaking to The Brunei Times recently, the Royal Brunei Land Force Commander assured that the army is committed to overcoming security concerns.
"We are prepared in terms of assisting the relevant agencies with security, so that all the meetings and activities will run as planned," remarked Brigadier General Pahlawan Hj Yussof Hj Abd Rahman in an interview.
With a jampacked year ahead, the land force commander said that the army is shifting its focus on issues relating to the Asean chairmanship.
Topping off the list of priorities for the Royal Brunei Armed Forces and Ministry of Defence in 2013 is the 7th Asean Defence Ministers' Meeting (ADMM) in May, followed by the inaugural ADMM-Plus exercise in June and the 2nd ADMM-Plus in August.
Referred to as the Human Assistance and Disaster Relief and Military Medicine exercise, the training will bring together the armed forces of the 18 member countries to Brunei.
Brigadier General Hj Yussof remains optimistic, however, that the army won't compromise its role of protecting the nation's sovereignty in spite of their busy schedule. The miliary personnel will continue to conduct its routine training and tasks throughout the year.
"We have to fulfill our own responsibilities. There's no compromise," said the land force commander, describing his approach to the situation as proactive.
He also called on other security agencies, including the Royal Brunei Police Force, and all stakeholders to cooperate in running a joint-effort towards meeting the security and safety demands of the upcoming Asean summits.
"In Brunei, security is not dealt by one agency alone. Everybody, not just the government, must ensure that security is met. We all have our own roles to play," he explained.
Meanwhile, the police force's spokesperson DSP Pg Hj Abd Salam Pg Hj Abd Ghani said in a previous interview said that the tightened measures will be undertaken to ensure the security and safety of everyone involved.
"We're ready to enforce heightened measures to ensure the security and safety for the everyone attending the summits.
The royal police force is prepared for the challenge," he said.
Asean heads of state are expected to convene for the summits to discuss a host of multilateral issues concerning the 10-member bloc.
The related meetings will also gather the leaders of Asean's dialogue partners.