Temburong's colourful tribute
By Danial Norjidi & Syafiq Affendy

A dash of colour, rich cultural diversity and cheers of goodwill filled Temburong yesterday as over a thousand residents greeted His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam for the monarch's 65th birthday celebration.

His Majesty flew into the district by a helicopter and was joined by His Royal Highness Prince Haji Al-Muhtadee Billah, the Crown Prince and Senior Minister at the Prime Minister's Office, His Royal Highness Prince Haji Sufri Bolkiah, His Royal Highness Prince Haji Jefri Bolkiah, HRH Prince Haji 'Abdul' Azim, HRH Prince 'Abdul Malik and HRH Prince 'Abdul Mateen.

The ruler first visited the private residence of Acting Temburong District Officer Haji Haris bin Othman before proceeding to the Bangar Town Community Hall Field, where the celebrations began.

The festivity kicked off with a loud and proud singing of the national anthem by all in attendance before it reached a crescendo with "Daulat Kebawah Duli Tuan Patik!"

His Majesty watched as teams from the Brunei-Muara and Belait Districts competed in the final round of the National Tug-of-war Competition.

The monarch clapped and smiled as he watched the teams battle it out with battle cries as they tugged hard and pulled the rope with all their might.

After the arduous battle, it was the Brunei-Muara team who emerged victorious after two three-minute rounds.

A special performance then ensued, themed "Raja Berdaulat Sanjungan Rakyat" or, loosely translated, "Sovereign Ruler Revered by the People".

The performance involved 465 Temburong youths, including students, uniformed cadets, as well as youths from the various ethnicities of the district, who danced and performed moves in line with themes and concepts as well as the rhythm of the music and nasyid.

The performance began with a nasyid by a section of the youths entitled "Doa Untuk Raja" or "Prayer for the Monarch", which saw them sing a song, recite a syair and sajak called "Laila Masyur".

At the end of the performance, 10-year-old Azhar Danial Hj Yusra led the triple-cry of "Daulat Kebawah Duli Tuan Patik!" which was backed up enthusiastically by the rest of the performers.

"(This performance) is presented as both an expression of gratitude and a manifestation of adulation and loyalty to His Majesty," said the Acting Temburong District Officer in his speech.

"The people and residents along with civil servants of this district appreciate and welcome as well as give thanks for His Majesty's titah in conjunction with His Majesty's 65th birthday on July 15 with regards to the need of the country to march on with its development agenda, which balances the wise approaches with developments in various fields all of which are purely in the interest of national development and improving the quality of life for the people of this district," he added.

His Majesty then consented to present the winners of the Tug-of-War Competition with their medals and trophy.

The benevolent monarch then received greetings from over a thousand eagerly waiting hands that lined up around the field to meet His Majesty and wish him a happy birthday. - Borneo Bulletin (20th July 2011)