Royal call to protect Brunei's natural beauty
By Ben Ng

The Landscape and Flowers Exhibition held in conjunction with His Majesty's 62nd birthday celebrations was launched yesterday at the Centrepoint in Gadong.

Attending as the royal guest of honour was Her Majesty Raja Isteri Pengiran Anak Hajah Saleha, who was accompanied by Her Royal Highness Princess Hajah Rashidah Sa'adatul Bolkiah, Her Royal Highness Princess Hajah Majeedah Nuurul Bulqiah and Her Royal Highness Princess Hajah Masna.

In Her Majesty's titah, she said that this year's theme of "Going Green Together to Manage Climate Change" represents one initiative that would raise awareness towards the importance of taking care of our natural environment.

"This year's theme highlights the importance of the roles of plants and how they influence our natural surroundings and everyday life," Her Majesty said yesterday in front of the 100 participants who were present at yesterday's ceremony.

Underlining the importance of these facts, Her Majesty said that we need to continue holding 'green' activities and raise awareness to protect Brunei Darussalam's natural beauty, whether at home gardens, villages, districts, or the country in general.

To support this initiative, she encouraged people from all walks of the community to work earnestly and be active in protecting the environment.

The chairperson of the Cleaning Competition and Landscaping Committee, Hjh Marhani Abdul Latif, said in her opening remarks that this year's theme also hopes to instil a sense of responsibility into the community towards taking care of Brunei's natural landscape and plants.

"This is important if we want to reduce the level of greenhouse gases in our environment," she said.

"Green vegetation through a process of biology releases oxygen that humans and animals need to live. At the same time, these plants absorb carbon dioxide that make up a large amount of greenhouse gases today," she said.

"We are happy today when we see the green scenery in places such as houses, petrol stations, schools, and Kampung Ayer," she said.

In first place for the best private home on land was Hj Abd Majid Mohammad, who resides in Jalan Muara.

Winner of the best garden under the Brunei Darussalam Housing Scheme category was Jamilah Hj Kurus from Kampong Lambak.

Meanwhile, Seriah Hj Jaafar, who lives in Kampong Burong Pingai Ayer, won a prize for having the best privately owned garden in Kampong Ayer while Lalim Tengah won for the best garden under the Kampong Ayer Housing Scheme category.

Village Head of Kampong Kawasan 2 RPN Rimba, Mohammad Hj Kabon, grabbed first place for having the greenest kampong on land, while the Kampong Burung Pinggai Ayer Village Head, Abd Rahman Hj Omar, won first place for having the best kampong on water.

Sekolah Arab Jerudong won the best garden under the secondary schools category, while Sekolah Ugama PAP Amal Umi Kalthum Al-Islam in Kampong Mulaut won first place in the primary school category.

Finally, IBA Petrol Station and Trading along Jalan Penghubung Berakas won the best garden in the filling station category. - Borneo Bulletin (15th August 2008)