BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN – His Majesty the Sultan called for more collaboration between the law enforcement agencies of ASEAN, to unify as “one law enforcement body” in order to overcome the new challenges of transnational crime in the region.

Speaking during the 38th ASEAN Police Chiefs (ASEANAPOL) Conference held in Bandar Seri Begawan on Tuesday, Brunei’s monarch said a sense of regional unity should be instilled in all ASEAN countries so that “we act as one, with one voice, for the safety and the security of of the Southeast Asian region”.

The conference, organised by the Royal Brunei Police Force (RBPF) this year, is an annual platform for senior ASEAN police personnel to discuss law enforcement and tackling crime in the region.

HM the Sultan attends the opening of the 38th ASEANAPOL conference at ICC, accompanied by HRH Prince Haji Al-Muhtadee Billah (C), the Crown Prince at senior minister at PMO; and Minister at PMO Dato Hj Awang Abdul Mokti (L). Photo: Infofoto

His Majesty said transnational crimes such as drug trafficking, terrorism and human trafficking remain major challenges in Southeast Asia, and that stronger collaboration between ASEAN national police forces is needed.

With the rise of non-traditional threats, technological advancements and the flow of people across borders, the challenges faced by members of ASEANAPOL have become multi-dimensional, he added.

The sultan urged ASEANAPOL members to strengthen partnerships with law enforcement agencies beyond the region, such as Interpol and Europol.

Delegates for the 38th ASEAN police chiefs conference. Photo: Infofofo

The Southeast Asian body has also had an impact internationally, playing a part in the initial formation of AFRIPOL, the African Union mechanism for police cooperation.

As the oldest law enforcement fraternity in the region, ASEANAPOL should strengthen training and promote strong bonds between police officers within and outside the region, said His Majesty.

The body should also play a central role in realising the ASEAN Security Community (ASC) by 2020: “The ASC is central in realizing this vision of peace and prosperity for ASEAN.”

Brunei’s sultan (3L) greets police chiefs from around ASEAN during the opening of the 38th ASEANAPOL conference, while Brunei police commissioner Dato Hj Mohd Jammy (2R) and the Crown Prince (4L) look on. Photo: Infofoto