Brunei minister shares insights on Asean in new book

Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean (right) greeting Prince Mohamed Bolkiah at a dinner hosted by DPM Teo for the Brunei foreign minister at the Mandarin Oriental on 28 October 2013.

SINGAPORE - Brunei's Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Prince Mohamed Bolkiah, has written a fourth book that gives his insights on the development of ASEAN.

The book, Association - A Part Of The World No Longer Apart, uses the various sports of South-east Asia to tie together Prince Mohamed's encounters and observations, and to narrate the story of ASEAN "in a very human and personal way", he said at the book launch on Monday.

"That is where I think ASEAN draws its strength," he added.

One chapter is called Tarik Kalat, or tug of war, to discuss the importance of team work.

"My main hope for the future generation is that they do not forget the ASEAN cause and the values that have made it so successful," Prince Mohamed said.

The prince, who is leading a delegation here on a two-day Singapore-Brunei exchange visit, unveiled the book at the Singapore's Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The event was attended by Singapore's Foreign Affairs Minister K. Shanmugam and two former foreign affairs ministers: Mr S. Jayakumar and Mr Wong Kan Seng.

In a speech, former President SR Nathan said the book draws on Prince Mohamed's "vast canvass" of experience, having been foreign minister since 1984, when Brunei became independent.

"It covers many themes and reflects on the many encounters he has with leaders and peoples in what has been a lived experience of interesting times," said Mr Nathan, who is a distinguished senior fellow at the Institute of South-east Asian Studies.

The institute had organised the book launch.

The prince, whose two-day visit began on Sunday, had tea with President Tony Tan Keng Yam on Monday. Hosted by Senior Minister of State for Foreign Affairs and Home Affairs Masagos Zulkifli and Minister of State for Defence and National Development Maliki Osman, the delegation then visited Gardens by the Bay.

The prince was hosted to dinner by Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean at the Mandarin Oriental hotel.

They highlighted the importance of building on the foundation of the excellent ties between both countries to broaden and deepen cooperation, and strengthen the links between the next generation of leaders, an MFA statement said.

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