Public lauds Sultan's titah
By Azaraimy HH

His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam's titah yesterday criticising the rationale and purpose behind the campaigning for cash donations for royal birthday celebration received overwhelming public support.

His Majesty voiced his disappointment and disapproval of relying on private cash donations for his birthday celebration and called it wastage.

His Majesty also asked why under the new SPN21 education system, the religious subject is not included amongst the core subjects like Bahasa Melayu, Mathematics and Science but included as options along with Music and Drama.

The ruler also called for more proactive efforts on the nation's food security such as in rice production, and added that officials shouldn't have waited for him to officiate before enhancing efforts.

In response to the titah, an anonymous caller reached the Bulletin hotline and said His Majesty's titah was spot on. People have been waiting for this, especially the call to end collecting donations for Sultan's birthday celebrations, he added.

He said requesting huge donations from the private sector sends a wrong message as it is prone to misuse.

"We love our monarch wholeheartedly. We Bruneians are born as subjects of His Majesty the Sultan and proud citizens of Brunei Darussalam, and as His Majesty had beautifully put it in the titah, it shouldn't be measured by the amount of cash donation," he added.

He said we all love His Majesty the Sultan as much as others do. But donating cash during a campaign to earn favour in whatever form is wrong and will send out a wrong message.

Other members of the public also gave similar views like the first caller.

They said the royal celebration is a joyous occasion and just like what His Majesty said, it shouldn't be used as a "medan" or arena to show how much cash you can give, and use it for something else, such as gaining favour from the government.

"It is not only anti-competitive, more importantly it could send wrong messages," a caller said.

The Bulletin learnt that some donation requests were also sent to SMEs in the country for their contribution during a campaign-style lobbying. - Borneo Bulletin (14th July 2009)