OPEN LETTER TO HIS EXCELLENCY THE US AMBASSADOR

7 02 2009

Your Excellency Mr William E Todd

I refer to your latest column in the Borneo Bulletin — http://www.brunei-online.com/weekend/news/feb7h38.htm
in which you stated: “I wanted to also bring to your attention that our new Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, who will be travelling to Asia very soon.

Secretary Clinton will visit Japan (February 16-18), Indonesia (February 18-19), the Republic of Korea (February 19-20) and China (February 20-22).

As I have mentioned, Asia, especially Southeast Asia, will play an important role in President Obama and Secretary Clinton’s foreign policy.”

Security issues aside, wouldn’t you think that the Madam US State Secretary’s itinerary would have been a ‘Missed Opportunity’ not to stop over for a couple of days in our Abode of Peace right after the China visit, Your Excellency?

Why so? For one good reason, February 23rd 2009 happens to be the 25th Anniversary of Brunei Darussalam’s National Day celebrations.

Incidentally, one of Asia’s prominent and influential Elder Statesmen, His Excellency Mr Lee Kuan Yew, the Mentor Minister of the Republic of Singapore will be in town then to present the first of its kind Sultan Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien Memorial Lecture at the International Convention Centre in Berakas on February 25, 2009.

My point, Your Excellency Mr Ambassador, is that it is indeed sheer coincidence that Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, will be touring the region around that time next week. Therefore why not capitalize on the opportunity presenting itself for Secretary Clinton to pay courtesy calls on both His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam and Singapore’s Mentor Minister Lee Kuan Yew respectively in our peaceful and ‘terrorism’-free nation?

After all, her better half, former US President Bill Clinton is no stranger to Brunei having visited this country during APEC 2000 and more recently for a Private meeting with His Majesty the Sultan in the Empire Hotel and Country Club a few years ago. President Clinton has always loved the Empire and what better time for him to show Mrs Clinton the natural beauty of Brunei Darussalam as a model Islamic nation.

Indirectly, such an impromptu visit would enhance further the insights of the Secretary of State as befit a globe-trotting figure and an international negotiator for the next five years. Exchange of views between Mrs Clinton and two of the region’s (if not the world’s) most experienced national leaders in His Majesty and Mr Lee Kuan Yew respectively will certainly benefit the common interests of three friendly nations in the hope of paving the path for much more aligned and strategic alliances toward world peace!

My sincere apologies for being a bit too direct and blunt for my own good, Your Excellency Mr Ambassador Todd.

Yours sincerely
PLK

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