BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN: Singapore's Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said on Thursday that Brunei offers the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) something very special in terms of training area not available in Singapore. Mr Lee visited the training area in Temburong on the sidelines of the 22nd ASEAN Summit. SAF soldiers are undergoing jungle survival and confidence training there.
It has been nearly 10 years since Prime Minister Lee last visited the SAF training facilities in Temburong.
During his visit, Mr Lee and his delegation witnessed a river crossing exercise by officer cadets from the artillery. Nearly 60 cadets are undergoing the training, which lasts for ten days. Mr Lee said the jungles in Temburong are a different environment compared to those in Mandai and Bukit Timah in Singapore. They were much more challenging and physically-demanding and those who went through the training gained a lot of confidence.
At the same time, PM Lee stressed that the SAF is very mindful of safety during training.
He said: "Every soldier is very, very precious to us and we want him to train realistically, but we must take all the precautions we can, whether it is planning the landing pads, having the safety boats and what dangers to watch out for -- it could be a crocodile in the water, it could be heatstroke.
"New generations of SAF servicemen are taking their training seriously, they understand the value of it. I think their morale is good and their commitment is there."
In a statement, the Ministry of Defence (MINDEF) said Singapore and Brunei share a strong and long-standing defence relationship.
In addition to regular training which SAF troops conduct in Brunei, both defence establishments conduct a wide range of bilateral exercises and professional exchanges, which have enhanced professionalism and strengthened ties between the two armed forces.
During the visit, the prime minister was accompanied by Mrs Lee, Parliamentary Secretary for Health and Transport, Associate Professor Muhammad Faishal Ibrahim, Member of Parliament Low Yen Ling, Chief of Army Major-General Ravinder Singh and other senior SAF officials. - CNA/al
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