Tutong's gifts for His Majesty
By P Marilyn & James Kon

Over 15,000 people from all walks of life turned up at the Seri Kenangan Community Field in the Tutong District yesterday to celebrate the monarch's 62nd birthday celebrations.

The get-together ceremony allowed thousands of well-wishers a chance to personally wish His Majesty and also saw the monarch receiving numerous 'pesembah,' which included replicas of a mini gulingtangan (traditional musical instrument) set and an oil rig, as well as a peach ornament and silk sarong.

The Maraburong Prison presented the gulingtangan pesembah made from two types of woods, namely, Kulipapa Tanduk and Manggaris.

"The mini gulingtangan set was made by seven inmates and it took a month to complete," said Prisons Officer Hamdani bin Mohd Salleh.

"Last year, the Maraburong Prison presented His Majesty with a walking stick (tongkat) that was also made by prison inmates," he added.

The Tiong Hua Community offered a Peach Ornament as a pesembah.

Committee Chairman Soon Seng Lee told the Bulletin that, "The ornament was specially flown in from China.

"The Chinese believe that the peach tree signifies longevity."

Mr Soon and Pehin Bendahari Cina Dato Paduka Awang Onn Siew Siong presented the pesembah to His Majesty on behalf of the Tutong Chinese community.

The Indian community in the Tutong District presented a special handmade sarong from Indonesia.

"The handmade silk and cotton sarong is used mostly during prayer time," said Indian Chamber of Commerce President Nazeer Ahmad, who presented the pesembah to the monarch.

Meanwhile, the consortium comprising Loon Brunei Limited, Nations Petroleum and QAF Brunei - which is exploring Block L in the Tutong District and overseen by the Brunei National Petroleum Company - presented a pesembah of a mini oil rig replica.

Nations Petroleum Vice President/General Manager David Blevins presented the pesembah to His Majesty.

Also present during His Majesty's visit to the gallery where the consortium displayed its project was Brunei National Petroleum Company CEO Haji Jaafar. - Borneo Bulletin (18th July 2008)