Activities for Sultan's b'day celebration must respect Israk Mikraj
By James Kon

As this year's Israk Mikraj will fall very close to the birthday of His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam, organisers should ensure that the format of all activities to mark the beloved monarch's birthday also respect Israk Mikraj, which is an important event in the Islamic calendar.

This call was made by the Minister of Home Affairs, Pehin Orang Kaya Johan Pahlawan Dato Seri Setia Awang Hj Adanan bin Begawan Pehin Siraja Khatib Dato Seri Setia Hj Md Yusof, during the first meeting for the National Committee for His Majesty's 63rd birthday celebration at the Lapau's ceremonial hall yesterday.

The minister, in his capacity as the Chairperson of the National Committee for His Majesty's 63rd birthday celebration, urged all national committee members involved in the celebration not to stray away from the culture and norms of Brunei.

Activities lined up for His Majesty's birthday celebration should not go against the teachings of Islam, he added.

High on the agenda yesterday were the appointment of the patron and advisor to the National Committee of His Majesty's 63rd birthday celebration, as well as dates, formats and venues for the royal birthday celebration in all four districts.

There were also discussions on putting together a special committee to oversee His Majesty's birthday banners, as well as holding flag-hoisting ceremonies and erecting decorative arches throughout the country.

Towards the end of the meeting, the minister expressed his gratitude to all committee members involved in last year's birthday celebration of His Majesty for making the grand event a success.

YAM Pengiran Lela Cheteria Sahibun Najabah Pengiran Anak Hj Abdul Aziz bin Pengiran Jaya Negara Pengiran Hj Abu Bakar, the Chief of Adat Istiadat Negara, YAM Pengiran Penggawa Laila Bentara Istiadat Diraja Dalam Istana Pengiran Hj Alauddin bin Pg Paduka Tuan Pengiran Hj Abu Bakar, the Grand Chamberlain, and Pehin Orang Kaya Dewa Pahlawan Dato Paduka Awang Hj Dani bin Hj Ibrahim, the Deputy Minister of Home Affairs, were among those who attended yesterday's meeting. - Borneo Bulletin (9th Jan 2009)