Royal gifts bring cheer
By Danial Norjidi

Her Majesty Raja Isteri Pengiran Anak Hajah Saleha yesterday consented to present a total of 1,241 single mothers registered at the Community Development Department and Brunei Islamic Council as well as 6,435 infants born between October 7, 2009 and October 7, 2010 and registered at the Immigration and National Registration Department throughout the country with personal royal gifts.

The royal gifts from Her Majesty are pecuniary and were in the form of bank savings accounts to instill a saving culture.

The presentation ceremonies of Her Majesty's personal gifts, which were held concurrently in Brunei's four districts, were graced by the Princesses of Their Majesties.

HRH Princess Hajah Rashidah Sa'adatul Bolkiah and HRH Princess Hajah Muta-Wakkilah Hayatul Bolkiah, both personal representatives of Her Majesty, presented the royal gifts to 864 single mothers and 4,548 infants in the Brunei-Muara District at the Istana Nurul Iman.

Upon arrival, Her Royal Highnesses were greeted by Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Kerna Dato Seri Setia (Dr) Haji Awang Abu Bakar bin Haji Apong, Minister of Education, and Pehin Orang Kaya Pekerma Laila Diraja Dato Paduka Awang Haji Hazair bin Haji Abdullah, Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports.

In the Belait District, as personal representatives of Her Majesty, HRH Princess Hajah Majeedah Nuurul Bolkiah and HRH Princess Hajah Hafizah Sururul Bolkiah both presented the royal gifts to 171 single mothers and 951 infants.

It was held at the hall of the Officers Mess, Third Battalion at Lumut Camp. Their Royal Highnesses were greeted on arrival by Minister of Religious Affairs, Pengiran Dato Seri Setia Dr Haji Mohammad bin Pengiran Haji Abdul Rahman, and Acting Minister of Home Affairs, Pehin Dato Lailaraja Major General (Rtd) Dato Paduka Seri Haji Awang Halbi bin Haji Mohd Yussof.

HRH Princess 'Azemah Ni'matul Bolkiah graced the presentation ceremony in the Tutong District as the personal representative of Her Majesty and presented the royal gifts to 148 single mothers and 771 infants.

HRH was greeted on arrival by Minister of Development, Pehin Orang Kaya Indera Pahlawan Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Suyoi bin Haji Osman, at the Seri Kenangan Hall in Tutong Town.

The presentation ceremony in Temburong saw HRH Princess Fadzilah Lubabul Bolkiah grace the event as the personal representative of Her Majesty to present the royal gifts to 58 single mothers and 165 infants.

HRH was greeted on arrival at the Belalong Hall in Bangar Town by Pehin Orang Kaya Hamzah Pahlawan Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Abdullah bin Begawan Mudim Dato Paduka Haji Bakar, Minister of Communications.

During the presentation ceremony at the Istana Nurul Iman, the Bulletin spoke a number of recipients.

Kartini binti Hj Moksin's son was born on January 3 this year, and she said, "I was informed about this by the village head. We're very thankful to be receiving such a special gift."

Asked what she has planned to do with the royal gift, she said, "We're going keep it in the bank and save it."

Another of the recipients was New Zealander Felicity Cuff, whose son, Jordi, was born on November 23, 2009.

"I heard about this through word of mouth," she told the Bulletin. "We registered, and we got it. I'm planning on putting this gift into an account for Jordi, for his college and education fund."

Hajah Adri Alieana was another recipient, as her daughter Arissa Alveena was born on October 26 last year. Adri said she was happy to receive the royal gift, and added that it would be kept in an account for Arissa for her future. - Borneo Bulletin (8th November 2010)