Happy 30th National Day!

Happy 30th National Day to everyone in Brunei. From the Sunday Herald of Scotland today on our 30th National Day by sheer coincidence, there is a letter to the editor entitled "If Brunei can do it, then so can Scots". Brunei is cited as an example that Scotland can emulate:

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If Brunei can do it, then so can Scots
Sunday 23 February 2014

Thirty years ago, my wife and I had the privilege of attending the first National Day ceremonies of a small, oil-rich country, Brunei Darussalam, which had had full independence imposed upon it by the government of the United Kingdom six weeks earlier.

Although not a democratic country, any reluctance to accept independence was pushed aside by the ruler, Sultan Sir Hassanal Bolkiah, who adopted a positive approach which was embraced by a population determined to make a successful independent country.

Since then Brunei Darussalam has played above its weight, building up its armed forces - notably its Clyde-built navy purchasing vessels - to defend its oil and gas reserves. Its army and small air force also provide a sound defence base. It has strived to build an industrial base - not always successfully - but endeavouring to diversify its industries. It even continued a monetary union with another country, Singapore, to the detriment of neither.

Scotland, with its diverse resources and industrial base, is better positioned than Brunei to survive as an independent country. As Alistair Darling continues to impersonate the Rev IM Jolly combined with Private Fraser ("We're doomed") and George Osborne recruits Messrs Alexander and Balls, along with their parties, to align themselves with his "nasty party" (as first defined by Theresa May in 2002), surely it is time for Scotland to emulate and surpass a small country such as Brunei Darussalam in its optimism? Brunei may be small but it performs way above its weight and is a member of the United Nations in its own right.

If a country with a population the size of Aberdeen can thrive and be a voice on the world stage, why are Scots continually told we are too small to be worthy of determining our future and our affairs?

Colin R Mowat
Laurencekirk

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