By Aziz Idris
It was a day to be cherished for the loyal subjects in Tutong District. Undeterred by the scorching sun, they showed their devotion to His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam by coming in droves to attend the "Bersama Rakyat"(get-together) in conjunction with His Majesty's 64th birthday celebrations, yesterday.
All roads in Tutong led to the Community Hall Complex Field in the heart of Pekan Tutong, which was filled by thousands of people from all walks to welcome His Majesty and members of the royal family.
Accompanying His Majesty were HRH Prince Haji Al-Muhtadee Billah, the Crown Prince and Senior Minister at the Prime Minister's Office, HRH Prince Haji Sufri Bolkiah, HRH Prince, 'Abdul 'Azim and HRH Prince 'Abdul Malik.
The national anthem echoed through the field as His Majesty ascended the royal dais followed by three cheers of 'Daulat Kebawah Duli Tuan Patik' or 'Long Live His Majesty' from the village heads and officials in the district.
Haji Muhammad Suffian bin Haji Bungsu, Acting District Officer of Tutong District, saw the event as "a reward and honour with great meaning" to the Tutong community.
He said, "The visit reflects the monarch's utmost concern on the well being and welfare of the people and residents in the country."
He noted that under His Majesty's government, the district's residents are blessed with prosperity, benefiting from various forms of development, progress and facilities.
To make the event livelier, a special choir group by 300 people comprising Mukim and village consultative councils, government officials, youths, students and ethnic groups from the district sang "Doa Untuk Raja", "Negara Brunei Negara Tercinta" and "Raja Berdaulat".
His Majesty and the royal entourage mingled with the rakyat, which consists of multi-cultural communities in the district who greeted the ruler in person.
The monarch and members of the royal family joined government officers, community leaders and other invited guests at the Community Hall Complex for a luncheon and received 'junjung ziarah' from Tutong National Committee members.
On Sunday, Brunei-Muara District will host the last of the get-together events at the Taman Hj Sir Muda Omar Ali Saifuddien.
- Borneo Bulletin
(23rd July 2010)