Her Majesty feted at birthday celebration
By Hamidah Ismail

Her Majesty Raja Isteri Pengiran Anak Hajah Saleha yesterday consented to attend her birthday celebration at the Indera Samudra Grand Hall, The Empire Hotel and Country Club. The celebration was organised by the association of spouses of Cabinet ministers, deputy ministers, permanent secretaries, deputy permanent secretaries and its associate members.

Upon arrival, Her Majesty was greeted by the association's chairperson, Datin Paduka Hajah Dayang Jahrah binti Haji Mohammad and the spouses of Cabinet ministers.

Also present at the event were Her Royal Highness Paduka Seri Pengiran Anak Isteri Pengiran Anak Sarah, Her Royal Highness Princess Hajah Rashidah Sa'adatul Bolkiah, Her Royal Highness Princess Hajah Majeedah Nuurul Bolkiah, Her Royal Highness Princess Hajah Hafizah Sururul Bolkiah, Her Royal Highness Princess Hajah Masna and Her Royal Highness Princess Hajah Umi Kalthum Al-Islam.

The event began with the recitation of surah al-fatihah led by Ustazah Dayang Hajah Seimah binti Haji Abdul Salam, spouse of the Permanent Secretary (Core Education) at the Ministry of Education, followed by a speech by Datin Paduka Hajah Jahrah binti Haji Mohammad.

In her speech, Datin Paduka Hajah Jahrah outlined several social and charity activities conducted by the association throughout the year. Among them was a visit to Al-Islah Rehabilitation Centre in Tutong, where they had the chance to observe the state of and activities conducted at the centre. To demonstrate their support to the centre, they also donated several books and metres of clothings for the centre's weaving activity.

Other than that, the group has also contributed to the Australian Flood Victims Humanitarian Fund, the New Zealand Earthquake Fund and the Japanese Earthquake and Tsunami Fund. Meanwhile, for the local charity, they donated a sum as financial assistance to the National Orphans' Fund in order to help them celebrate and cherish the recent festive season of Hari Raya.

Later during the event, Her Majesty Raja Isteri also consented to cut the birthday cake, as well as receive a 'pesambah', courtesy of the association.

'Nasyid' and 'tausyeh' performances were also showcased before Her Majesty throughout the 'santap'. At the end of the event, Her Majesty was introduced to key members of the association.

Meanwhile, prior to the event and also in conjunction with Her Majesty's birthday, the association organised a Khatam al-Quran, a mass 'hajat' prayer and a thanksgiving prayer held at the residence of Datin Hajah Alimah binti Haji Mohd Taib, the spouse of the Minister of Religious Affairs. - Borneo Bulletin (10th Octopber 2011)