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PIA Press Release

Malaysian Armed Forces Defense College tours BIMP-EAGA, visits Mindanao

Davao City (27 May) -- As part of their curriculum on international relations, forty students from the Malaysian Armed Forces Defense College (MAFDC) are now touring the Brunei Darussalam-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines East Asean Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA) to observe economic development in the sub-region.

Headed by First Admiral Dato' Tan Eng Seng, MAFDC commandant, the delegation then recently visited the Mindanao Economic Development Council (MEDCo) for a courtesy call and a briefing on Mindanao, Palawan and BIMP-EAGA as a whole.

During their courtesy call with MEDCo, Seng underscored the importance of security for the sustainable development of a country and for its neighboring communities.

Undersecretary Virgilio Leyretana, MEDCo chair, then pointed out the need to forge efforts in securing the sub-region's very rich natural endowment, the Coral Triangle, which is dubbed as the world's largest biodiversity site.

"Security is a big factor in sustainable development", said Leyretana as he concurred with Seng's view of sustainable development as not just for today but also for the benefit of future generations.

Leyretana sees the visit as a milestone between Malaysia and Philippines ' cultural and diplomatic relations, which are further strengthened by the two countries' active participation in BIMP-EAGA.

"Our exchanges should not be limited to business, trade and tourism but also to academic studies as well." said Leyretana as he pointed out that exchanges like this are long overdue.

It can be recalled that in 2006, Mindanao played host to the 2nd BIMP-EAGA urban scout jamboree which gathered 3,000 boy scouts from the sub-region and other participating countries.

The said jamboree, which aimed to foster peace and unity in spite of varying cultures among the participants, have promoted the spirit of camaraderie and mutual respect while celebrating the gains of BIMP-EAGA throughout the years.

It was also in 2006 when the Thunder Riders of Sabah joined Mindanao's aspirations for a lasting peace through the 3rd Mindanao Ride for Peace.

A BIMP-EAGA friendship games is also held annually which shares the same intention of strengthening long-standing ties and close relations among the four countries that date back to decades ago.

Prior to their visit here, the MAFDC delegation has already visited Kuching in Sarawak, Malaysia ; Kota Kinabalu in Sabah and Brunei Darussalam. The team will also visit Pontianak in Indonesia.

The establishment of MAFDC in Malaysia in 1980 was brought by the need of the Malaysian government to put up an institution of higher military learning especially on national security. (MEDCo/PIA XI) [top]

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