The 24th Annual Leaders’ Consultation (ALC) was held in Putrajaya, Malaysia, on August 3, 2023, between The Honourable Dato’ Seri Anwar Ibrahim, Prime Minister of Malaysia, and His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Haji Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien Sa’adul Khairi Waddien, Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam.
The consultation was conducted in a cordial and courteous way, reflecting the close and unique ties that unite the two nations. During the Honourable Dato’ Seri Anwar Ibrahim, Prime Minister of Malaysia’s Official Visit to Brunei Darussalam on January 24 and 25, 2023, both Leaders expressed appreciation for the ongoing efforts made since their previous meeting and expressed their determination to further strengthen cooperation in areas of shared interest for the benefit of the populations of both nations.
The two leaders reaffirmed their shared commitment to advancing ties between the two nations and expressed excitement for the 40th anniversary of the start of their diplomatic ties in 2024.
The Leaders expressed satisfaction with the implementation of the exchange of letters signed on March 16, 2009, between the Prime Minister of Malaysia and His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam, which continues to provide strategic impetus for furthering bilateral cooperation. The Leaders further urged the implementation mechanism, headed by the Foreign Ministers of both nations, to advance cooperation for Brunei Darussalam and Malaysia’s mutual benefit.
The progress made towards pursuing greater economic cooperation between Brunei Darussalam and the states of Sabah and Sarawak was observed with satisfaction by both leaders. The Leaders anticipated that the inauguration of the Sarawak Trade and Tourism Office (STATO) in Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei Darussalam, at the end of this year would further improve the relationship in terms of tourism between Brunei Darussalam and the State of Sarawak. The Leaders also praised the sale of liquefied petroleum gas to Brunei Darussalam from June 16 to July 1, 2023, and in this context, urged both parties to step up efforts to improve economic ties between Brunei Darussalam and the States of Sabah and Sarawak.
In a joint statement following the ALC meeting, the two leaders reaffirmed their commitment to working with ASEAN dialogue partners and maintaining ASEAN’s outward-looking approach based on mutual interest and benefit to further ASEAN’s Community-building efforts
In order to sustain the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) central position as a major driving force that is efficient and responsive in addressing future opportunities and challenges, they emphasised the necessity for the group to be united and relevant.
The ALC, which is acknowledged as the highest level of bilateral communication between Malaysia and Brunei Darussalam, is an important occasion that promotes understanding among participants and fortifies ties between the two countries.