SUBANG, Selangor: Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah of Brunei, in a surprise move, took over the wheel of the official vehicle and drove Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim to Seri Perdana, Putrajaya during his visit to Malaysia on Monday (Nov 28).
Mr Anwar, who was seated in the front passenger seat of the limousine, was seen waving to the media at about 11.45am.
Also seated in the vehicle was the son of the sultan, Prince Abdul Mateen Bolkiah.
The BMW made its way to the prime minister’s official residence in Putrajaya from the Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) base in Subang about 41km away while being escorted by a team of outriders and security vehicles.
Mr Anwar was on hand to receive the sultan and his Bruneian delegation at the RMAF base in Subang at 11.40 am.
After the sultan arrived, he inspected a guard of honour mounted by the Malaysian Army led by Major Mohd Faudzi Che Hashim. Also present to greet the sultan was the Chief Secretary to the Government Mohd Zuki Ali.
The prime minister also hosted a luncheon for the sultan as well as the prince.
This is the sultan’s first meeting with Mr Anwar after the latter was sworn in as the 10th prime minister of Malaysia.
According to a Malaysian Ministry of Foreign Affairs statement, the sultan’s last visit to Kuala Lumpur was from March 4 to 6 in 2019 to attend the 22nd Annual Leaders’ Consultation between Malaysia and Brunei.
Brunei was Malaysia's 30th largest trading partner and the sixth largest in ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) with total trade worth RM8.03 billion (US$1.94 billion) in 2021.
He has formed a unity government comprising his Pakatan Harapan alliance, Barisan Nasional, Gabungan Parti Sarawak, Gabungan Rakyat Sabah and other partners.
A motion of confidence will be tabled during the next parliamentary session on Dec 19, as a test of the legitimacy of the new government.