Royal celebrations to adopt religious concept this year
by Aziz Idris

A meeting to discuss His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam's 64th birthday celebrations was held for the third time yesterday in the presence of HRH Prince Haji Al-Muhtadee Billah, the Deputy Sultan, who is also the benefactor of the celebrations committee.

In a sabda, His Royal Highness lauded the efforts of the celebrations committee, relevant working committees and all parties involved in last year's celebrations, despite unforeseen circumstances that resulted in the postponement of festivities.

His Royal Highness also underlined that a festivity would be more meaningful if celebrated in an ambience of peace, tranquillity and harmony.

"With this atmosphere, every level of the community can enjoy the multifarious advancement with the blessing, authority and wisdom bestowed by the king and leader, who has guided and brought changes towards progress and the nation's development in ensuring the citizens' welfare towards continuous excellence," the Deputy Sultan said.

Based on the Islamic calendar, celebrations this year's celebrations fall in the 'rejab' month. In this respect, the Deputy Sultan stressed that events held in conjunction with the celebrations would adopt a religious concept in line with His Majesty's aspiration of being a zikir nation.

"Major programmes that illustrate tradition and patriotism will still continue, to add on to the festivity, perpetuate togetherness and the bond between the king and his citizens in the country," said the Deputy Sultan, adding that it will be a source of inspiration for youths.

The Deputy Sultan also called on citizens of Brunei to show patriotism based on the Malay Islamic Monarchy concept to achieve excellence in the aspect of physical and spiritual development according to Brunei Vision 2035.

The meeting was chaired by Minister of Home Affairs Pehin Orang Kaya Johan Pahlawan Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Adanan bin Begawan Pehin Siraja Khatib Dato Seri Setia Awg Hj Mohd Yusof, who is also the chairman of His Majesty's 64th birthday celebrations committee.

The agendas discussed included finalising the latest report related to performance format preparations, arrangements for His Majesty's visits to the four districts, and the Majlis Ilmu (Knowledge Convention) to be held at the International Convention Centre.

The meeting also discussed preparations for a khatam al-Quran ceremony organised by the celebrations committee together with the consultative committees of Mukim Kota Batu and Mukim Kianggeh. It is scheduled to be held at the Sultan Omar 'Ali Saifuddien Mosque in the capital.

Present at the meeting were Royal Customs and Traditions president and deputy chairman of the meeting, YAM Pengiran Lela Cheteria Sahibun Najabah Pengiran Anak Haji Abdul Aziz bin Pengiran Jaya Negara Pengiran Haji Abu Bakar; the grand chamberlain, YAM Pengiran Penggawa Laila Bentara Istiadat Diraja Dalam Istana Pengiran Haji Alauddin bin Pengiran Paduka Tuan Pengiran Haji Abu Bakar; Deputy Minister of Home Affairs and deputy chairman of the meeting, Pehin Orang Kaya Dewa Pahlawan Dato Paduka Awang Haji Dani bin Haji Ibrahim; and YAM Pengiran Seri Wijaya Pengiran Haji Ahmad bin Pengiran Mohd Yusof.

Other officials included the permanent secretary and acting permanent secretary at the Ministry of Home Affairs, as well as celebrations committee members. - Borneo Bulletin (7th May 2010)