Brunei marks Sultan's birthday with parade
By Farah Ahmadnawi

Thousands of people from all walks of life yesterday thronged the Taman Hj Sir Muda Omar 'Ali Saifuddien to witness the parade marking the 64th birthday of His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam.

Last year's celebration was called off due to the flu pandemic H1N1. Citizens and residents of Brunei Darussalam braved the heat in the capital yesterday to witness the parade.

Students and bystanders proudly waved their flags welcoming the arrival of His Majesty and the royal family.

His Majesty ascended the dais and standing before His Majesty were other members of the royal family - HRH Prince Haji Al-Muhtadee Billah, the Crown Prince and Senior Minister at the PMO, HRH Prince Mohamed Bolkiah, HRH Prince Haji Sufri Bolkiah and HRH Prince Haji Jefri Bolkiah.

A 21-gun salute was fired as the crowd stood still in honour of the national anthem. Three cheers of Daulat echoed around the capital as the parade participants and members of the public shouted in unison to wish His Majesty.

At the same time, a rumble in the sky saw a fly-by of helicopters leaving a trail of coloured smokes.

His Majesty proceeded to inspect the parade comprising personnel from the Royal Brunei Armed Forces, Royal Brunei Police Force, Royal Brunei Air Force, Royal Brunei Navy, Royal Brunei Armed Forces Bands and Departments of Royal Customs and Excise, Prisons, and Immigration and National Registration as well as organisations such as Red Crescent, Girl Guides and National Scout Association.

Among the attendees present at the event were Pengiran-Pengiran Cheteria, Cabinet ministers, Legislative Council members, deputy ministers, Pehin-Pehin Menteri, high commissioners, ambassadors, permanent secretaries and heads of department as well as invited guests who later proceeded to Istana Nurul Iman after His Majesty.

State guests also seen at the event included Her Royal Highness Princess Basma binti Talal, Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan; Tun Abdullah bin Haji Ahmad Badawi, former Malaysian PM; Datuk Musa Haji Aman, Sabah Chief Minister; Pehin Sri Dr Haji Abdul Taib bin Mahmud, Chief Minister of Sarawak; and Mr Raymond Lim Siang Keat, Second Minister for Foreign Affairs Singapore. - Borneo Bulletin (16th July 2010)