By James Kon
It was a momentous event in Brunei Darussalam's history as His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam yesterday graced the grand Silver Jubilee National Day celebration at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium in the capital.
Accompanying His Majesty were Her Majesty Raja Isteri Pengiran Anak Hajah Saleha, Her Royal Highness Pengiran Isteri Azrinaz Mazhar, His Royal Highness Prince Haji Al-Muhtadee Billah, the Crown Prince and Senior Minister at the Prime Minister's Office, Her Royal Highness Paduka Seri Pengiran Anak Isteri Pengiran Anak Sarah, His Royal Highness Prince Mohamed Bolkiah, Her Royal Highness Pengiran Anak Isteri Pengiran Anak Hjh Zariah, and His Royal Highness Prince Haji Sufri Bolkiah.
Also present were His Royal Highness Prince 'Abdul Azim, His Royal Highness Prince 'Abdul Malik, His Royal Highness Prince 'Abdul Mateen, Her Royal Highness Princess Hajah Rashidah Sa'adatul Bolkiah, Her Royal Highness Princess Hajah Majeedah Nuurul Bulqiah, Her Royal Highness Princess Hjh Hafizah Sururul Bulqiah, Her Royal Highness Princess Azemah Ni'matul Bolkiah, Her Royal Highness Princess Fadzilah Lubabul Bulqiah, Her Royal Highness Princess Hajah Masna, Her Royal Highness Princess Hajah Amal Umi Kalthum Al-Islam and other members of the royal family.
This year's Silver Jubilee National Day celebration carries the theme 'Maturity of the Nation' or 'Kedewasaan Bernegara' reflecting the nation's maturity and progress since gaining independence in 1984.
Following the arrival of His Majesty, the national anthem was played. His Majesty proceeded to inspect the royal guard of honour.
The grand celebration commenced with a patriotic song performance followed by the march past.
A total of 108 teams consisting some 20,000 people including representatives from ministries, uniformed personnel, private sector, non government organisations, associations and education institutions participated in the march past in front of His Majesty and other members of the royal family.
Her Royal Highness Paduka Seri Pengiran Anak Isteri Pengiran Anak Sarah was one of the participants in the march past as one of the members of UBD Army Cadet.
This year as many as 25 selected youths representing departments under government, private sector, higher education institutions and associations took the national day oath.
Leading the reading of the oath was Dr Mohd Munir Faridz bin Dato Paduka Awang Haji Metassan, the medical officer of Internal Medical Department, RIPAS Hospital.
The celebration stepped up a gear with some 4,900 people taking part in colourful field performances.
Divided into six segments, the flawless performances were designed to reflect the theme of the Brunei Darussalam Silver Jubilee National Day celebration "Maturity of the Nation".
The first segment called 'Keris Si Naga' portrayed the existence of the country under the Malay Islam Monarchy that has been inherited from generations.
The second segment was called 'Kalasak dan Kampilan'. Kalasak is a type of sword and Kampilan is a shield. Both items are part of the Royal Regalia.
The third segment was the 'Kitab Terbuka' or open book reflecting the development of education, especially al-Quran.
The fourth segment called "Gear, Bunga Padi Dan Api" reflected the country's economy. Gear stood as a symbol of economic activities in the form of industries, entrepreneurship and human resources. 'Bunga Padi' or paddy flower symbolised the economic activities in the field of agriculture and Api or Fire represented the nation's spirit, inspiration and efforts to progress further.
The fifth segment "Globe" signified Brunei's international relations. Brunei is a member of international associations namely UN, UNESCO, APEC, ASEAN, OIC, the Commonwealth Nations and many others.
Concluding the performance was the sixth segment called "the Map of Negara Brunei Darussalam" which signified the country's sovereignty, free from any foreign intrusion. The people of the nation would continue to defend its sovereignty and further develop the country's prosperity, peace, as well as the survival of its people and the beloved land. The grand finale saw thousands of balloons released into the sky.
- Borneo Bulletin
(24rd Feb 2009)