By Syafiq Affendy
His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam welcomed the arrival of the new Islamic year of 1430 Hijrah with a celebration that was held yesterday at the Jame' Asr Hassanil Bolkiah Mosque in Kg Kiarong.
The Minister of Religious Affairs, Pehin Jawatan Luar Pekerma Raja Dato Seri Utama Dr Ustaz Hj Awg Mohd Zain bin Hj Serudin greeted the arrival of His Majesty and his princes, namely; His Royal Highness Prince Haji Al-Muhtadee Billah, the Crown Prince and Senior Minister at the Prime Minister's Office and His Royal Highness Prince 'Abdul Malik.
The event was also attended by senior government officials, government officers, envoys from Islamic countries, invited guests and members of the public.
The celebration began with the recitation of the End of Year Doa, led by the Deputy Minister of Religious Affairs, Pehin Udana Khatib Dato Paduka Seri Setia Ustaz Hj Awg Badaruddin bin Pengarah Dato Paduka Hj Awg Othman, which was followed by mass Maghrib prayers that was led by Pehin Siraja Khatib Dato Paduka Seri Setia Ustaz Hj Awg Yahya before the New Year Doa for 1430 Hijrah.
The religious event was followed with a presentation of Religious Figure Awards and Hijrah Bakti Awards for the new yearthat began with the recitation of the Al-Quran by the champion of the National Al-Quran Reading Competition for Youths of 1429/2008.
The recipients for both awards were chosen according to certain criteria - such as having the personality, knowledge, skills, leadership, services, contributions, merits and recognition from the community and the nation.
Three people received the Religious Figure Award - Pengiran Setia Negara Pengiran Dr Hj Mohd Yusof bin Pengiran Hj Abdul Rahim, Pehin Jawatan Dalam Seri Maharaja Dato Seri Utama Dr Hj Awang Mohd Jamil Al-Sufri bin Begawan Pehin Udana Khatib Dato Seri Paduka Hj Awg Umar and Pehin Orang Kaya Laila Wijaya Dato Seri Setia Dr Hj Awang Abdul Aziz bin Begawan Pehin Udana Khatib Dato Seri Paduka Hj Awg Umar.
The awardees each received $15,000 cash, an honorary certificate, a souvenir and free first-class medical ward treatment in any government hospital in Brunei.
Two more received the Hijrah Bakti Award, namely Awang Hj Abdul Kadir bin Awang and Awang Haji Tahir bin Hj Jaafar where they each received $10,000, an honorary certificate, a souvenir and free first-class medical ward treatment in any government hospital in Brunei.
To end the ceremony, the doa selamat was read by Pehin Dato Seri Maharaja Dato Paduka Seri Setia (Dr) Ustaz Hj Awg Abdul Aziz bin Juned, the State Mufti.
- Borneo Bulletin
(29th Dec 2008)