The Honourable Pehin Datu Lailaraja Major General (Retired)
Dato Paduka Seri Haji Awang Halbi bin Haji Md Yussof
SECOND MINISTER OF DEFENCE
The Honourable Pehin Datu Lailaraja Major General (Retired) Dato Paduka Seri Haji Awang Halbi bin Haji Md Yussof was appointed as the Second Minister of Defence on 30 January 2018.
Previously, he has served as High Commissioner of Negara Brunei Darussalam to Malaysia in February 2010, Deputy Minister of Home Affairs in May 2010, and Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports in October 2015.
In the early phase of his career, he served in the Royal Brunei Armed Forces (RBAF), where he held various staff and command appointments which includes Military Assistant to the Commander of the RBAF, Commanding Officer of 2nd Battalion Royal Brunei Land Force (RBLF), Staff Officer Grade 1 Operations Directorate of Operations and Plans, Acting Director at the Minister of Defence Office / Directorate of Strategic Planning, and Commander of the RBLF. On 1 March 2003, he was promoted to the rank of Major General and was appointed as the 7th Commander of the RBAF on 28 March 2003.
Commissioned as a Second Lieutenant on 7 April 1977, he graduated from Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, United Kingdom. During his service of over three decades in the RBAF, he attended various courses and seminars locally and overseas such as those in the United Kingdom, Singapore, Malaysia, and Australia. The pinnacle courses he attended in his military career were the Command and Staff Course, Quetta, Pakistan in 1989, and a Postgraduate course in International Studies at the Royal College of Defence Studies in London in 2000. The Honourable Pehin was also very much involved in joint military exercises and training with regional and overseas forces as well as humanitarian and disaster relief efforts in the region. During his tenure as Commander of RBAF, he also saw the deployment of RBAF personnel for the first time to the International Monitoring Team (IMT) in Mindanao, Aceh and Jogjakarta humanitarian assistance and disaster relief efforts and Aceh Monitoring Mission (AMM) in Indonesia, and United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL). The Honourable Pehin retired from service on 31 December 2009.
As a testimony of his distinguished service and career, Yang Berhormat Pehin was awarded with various honours and titles:
• 1986: "The Most Honourable Order of The Crown of Brunei, Third Class (SMB)".
• July 1996: His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam consented to bestow him with the title "Pehin Datu Lailaraja".
• September 2002: Indonesian Special Force Honorary Member (Warga Kehormat Komando Pasukan Khusus [KOPASSUS]).
• October 2002: "Meritorious Service Medal (Military) Republic of Singapore.
• 15 July 2003: His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam consented to bestow him with the title of "The Most Exalted Order of Paduka Keberanian Laila Terbilang" First Class, which brings the title "Dato Paduka Seri".
• 23 November 2004: "Distinguished Service Order (Military)" Republic of Singapore.
• 30 November 2004: "Gallant Commander of the Malaysian Armed Forces (PGAT) - Honourary" Malaysia.
• 20 December 2004: "Grand Meritorious Military Order, First Class" (Bintang Yudha Dharma Utama) Indonesia.
• 21 December 2004: Marine Corps Honorary Member of Indonesian National Armed Forces – Navy.
• 24 May 2006: "Philippine Legion of Honour" (Rank of Commander).
• 28 June 2006: Hilal-e-Imtiaz (Military) Pakistan.
• 9 November 2006: Honorary Pilot Wing (First Class) and Honorary Member of The Special Unit Corps, (Korpaskhas) Air Force of Indonesia's Armed Forces.
• 7 September 2007: 10th Para Brigade Malaysian Army Airborne Wing and Honorary Member.
• 18 April 2008: Philippine Legion of Honor (Rank of Grand Officer).
• 13 May 2008: "Grand Cordon of Istklal (Order of Independence [First Degree])” by His Majesty King Abdullah II King of Jordan.
• 27 July 2009: Knight Grand Cross (First Class) of the Most Noble Order of the Crown of Thailand by His Majesty King of Thailand.
• 27 November 2009: Armed Forces of the Philippines Major Services Command Badges comprising The Combat Commander's Kagitingan Badge - Philippine Army, The Philippine Navy Command at Sea Badge - Philippine Navy, and The Philippine Air Forces Gold Wing Badge - Philippine Air Force.
• 25 July 2010: Pingat Hassanal Bolkiah Sultan (Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah Medal).
The Honourable Pehin Datu Lailaraja Major General (Retired) Dato Paduka Seri Haji Awang Halbi was born on 22 June 1956. He is married to Datin Hajah Kalshom binti Haji Suhaili and is blessed with five children, Dr. Nurus' Salihah, Najaa-Hussalam, Ahmad Zaiemaddien, Muhamad Ar'Rifa'ie and Muhamad Kamil Ehsan.
He enjoys playing golf, fishing and reading.