Special b'day pesambahs for His Majesty
By James Kon

His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam yesterday morning received warm birthday greetings from members of the public as well as NGOs and local companies in a get-together ceremony with the people at the Taman Sir Haji Muda Omar Ali Saifuddien.

Thousands of people turned up to show their gratitude for the loving monarch who always cares for his subjects.

One of the ethnic groups present at the Taman was the Chinese community or Tiong Hua Association, which comprised various associations such as the Brunei-China Friendship Association, Kuang Hui Association, Tokong Cina, Construction Contractors Association, Taichi Association, Brunei Amateur Basketball Association, Brunei Electrical and Electronic Association, Brunei Xiangqi Association, Society of Chinese Writers, Artists and Calligraphy, Taiwan Graduates Association of Brunei, Brunei Darussalam Hockian Association, Chinese Chamber of Commerce BSB, Chung Hwa Middle School BSB, Chung Hwa Middle School Alumni Association and Hainan Association BSB.

Dr Chan Sui Kiat, President of the Chinese Chamber of Commerce, BSB who is also the advisor of Chung Hwa Middle School BSB, said, "We (the Chinese community) want to personally greet His Majesty on his birthday. We also want to show our gratitude to His Majesty for his leadership and care for his subjects."

This year's pesambah from the Chinese Community was a decorative glass holding a pair of peaches (Buah Persik) that took some three weeks to make.

Dr Chan said, "For Chinese, peaches mean longevity. We want to wish His Majesty a long and healthy life on his birthday."

Meanwhile, the Indian community from the Indian Chamber of Commerce was also out in force to celebrate His Majesty's 64th birthday.

As a token of appreciation for His Majesty, the Indian Chamber of Commerce presented a gigantic cake measuring six feet by four feet and weighing 64 kilogrammes for His Majesty.

The president of the association Awg Nazeer Ahmad bin Mohd Zakaria was on hand to greet His Majesty with other members.

The gigantic cake, which took almost 24 hours to bake, was a token of appreciation for His Majesty's leaderhip and guidance in providing the many facilities for a vibrant business environment in the country.

Royal Brunei Airlines, the national carrier, presented a model of a Boeing 777 as a pesambah for His Majesty. Present to greet His Majesty at the booth were Mr Robert Yang, Chief Executive Officer of RBA and Captain Khalidkhan Hj Asmakhan, Acting Chief Operating Officer as well as other senior management.

"The pesambah of Boeing 777 that measures 63cm by 63cm is the latest aircraft in our fleet," said Miss Azhani Daniel, the General Manager of Corporate Affairs in RBA.

She added, "The pesambah symbolises the newest addition to RBA."

Another highlight at the RBA's booth was the presence of Natasha Daud, the new female pilot of RBA.

Meanwhile, the Brunei Association of Banks presented one of a kind painting of His Majesty, which was drawn by a foreign artist. Abdul Razak Abdul Malek, the Chairman of the association presented the pesambah to His Majesty.

Another association that came out personally to greet His Majesty was the Pakistan Chamber of Commerce with its president Mr Abdul Rauf Khan Muhd Yakab.

According to Mr Khan, "It's a good opportunity to meet and wish His Majesty. The pesambah presented was a Quranic caligraphy flown in from Pakistan. It took two months to complete it."

Brunei-Muara District was the last district to host the get-together ceremony with His Majesty. The other three districts - Belait, Temburong and Tutong - have already completed their get-together ceremonies with His Majesty. - Borneo Bulletin (26th July 2010)