BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN – His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah flew to Putrajaya on Monday (Nov. 28) to pay a courtesy visit to Malaysia’s new prime minister Anwar Ibrahim.

The monarch is the first foreign leader to meet with Anwar, who was sworn in as PM last Thursday after days of political deadlock following Malaysia’s November 19 election.

HRH Prince ‘Abdul Mateen accompanied the sultan on his visit.

His Majesty expressed hope that Anwar’s leadership would steer Malaysia towards “achieving welfare for all, including in the ASEAN region and globally”.

The two leaders discussed matters of mutual interest, including potential new areas of cooperation “in pursuit of peace, welfare and prosperity” for the citizens of both countries, the Prime Minister’s Office said in a statement.

L-R: HRH Prince ‘Abdul Mateen, HM the Sultan of Brunei, and Malaysian PM Anwar Ibrahim during a luncheon in Putrajaya on Nov. 28, 2022. Photo: Information Department

Wisma Putra said the visit was an opportunity to take stock of existing cooperation, as well as explore potential for a more comprehensive partnership.

Anwar’s last official visit to Brunei was in 2019 when he was heir presumptive to then-prime minister Mahathir Mohamad.

Malaysia is Brunei’s closest neighbour, flanked on both sides by the states of Sabah and Sarawak.

Bilateral trade reached BND$2.49 billion in 2021, with trade volume on track to reach over BND$3 billion this year following the lifting of COVID restrictions and opening of the SHOAS Bridge.