Royalty at Language and Literature Bureau Golden Jubilee
By Rokiah Mahmud

His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam yesterday consented to attend the Golden Jubilee celebration of the Language and Literature Bureau (DBP) at the International Convention Centre (ICC) in Berakas.

Also in attendance were HRH Prince Mohamed Bolkiah, HRH Prince Haji Sufri Bolkiah and HRH Prince 'Abdul Malik.

On hand to welcome His Majesty and members of the royal family were Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports (MCYS) Pehin Orang Kaya Pekerma Laila Diraja Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Hazair bin Haji Abdullah, Permanent Secretary at the MCYS cum Executive Chairman of the Committee Dato Paduka Haji Mohd Hamid bin Haji Mohd Jaafar, and DBP Acting Director cum 50th Golden Jubilee Chairperson Hajah Aminah bin Haji Momin.

Opening the day was a surah al-fatihah recitation led by State Mufti Pehin Datu Seri Maharaja Dato Paduka Seri Setia Dr Ustaz Haji Abdul Aziz bin Juned.

This was followed by a speech delivered by the Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports, during which he noted, the Golden Jubilee Celebration marked DBP's five-decade journey and success since its establishment.

The bureau was established to support the development and to empower the usage of Malay Language not only in the community, but nationwide. This was proven through the qualitative and quantitative development of Malay Language since it was stated in the 1959 Brunei Constitution as the official language of Brunei.

"In placing importance on the Malay Language, DBP is not neglecting the vital influence of Jawi writing in the community. It is one of the regulations for commercial premises to include Jawi writing on their signboards, as stated in the Circular Letter published by the Prime Minster's Office enforcing the usage of Jawi writing."

Additionally, the minister said, DBP works in cooperation and partnership with several stakeholders - such as higher educational institution, Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Foundation (YSHHB), Brunei Shell Marketing, DST Communications, ASTERAWANI Association and Association of Banks - to push further the usage of Malay Language in their institutions.

Also, in ensuring the community picks up the culture of reading, several libraries have been set up mainly in housing areas, long houses and schools.

Highlighting the day was the announcement of Anugerah Bahasawan and Anugerah Sasterawan - awards handed out in a show of appreciation and recognition for the contribution, dedication and commitment of recipients in empowering Malay Language and Literature in the community.

The day saw His Majesty presenting the Anugerah Bahasawan to Pehin Jawatan Dalam Seri Maharaja Dato Seri Utama (Dr) Haji Awang Mohd Jamil Al-Sufri and the Anugerah Sasterawan to Pehin Siraja Khatib Dato Paduka Seri Setia Ustaz Haji Yahya bin Haji Ibrahim. Both recipients receive certificates of appreciation, $10,000 and prizes.

Following the award presentation, the ceremony continued with a keynote presentation entitled 'Budaya Dilestari, Bahasa Diperkasa' delivered by Minister of Home Affairs, Pehin Udana Khatib Dato Paduka Seri Setia Ustaz Haji Awang Badaruddin bin Pengarah Dato Paduka Haji Awang Othman.

Following the ceremony, His Majesty and members of the royal family were led on a tour of the exhibition detailing the journey, development and services provided by DBP.

His Majesty then proceeded to launch 50 new books published by DBP, among them, 'Bahasa Citra Bangsa,' 'Kamus Bahasa Melayu Nusantara,' 'Daftar Leksikal 7 Dialek' and 'Pedoman Umum Bahasa Jawi.'

The monarch later consented to sign the official First Day Cover Stamp in conjunction with the Golden Jubilee celebrations, following which DBP personnel staged a choir performance.

The Language and Literature Bureau was established on September 29, 1961. In line with its establishment, DBP has played important roles and functions towards the development of Malay Language and Literature by conducting seminars, conference, meetings and participating in regional and international organisation such as Asia Pacific Publishers Association (APPA) and MABBIM. - Borneo Bulletin (18th September 2011)