Call to spend prudently for royal birthday
By Azlan Othman

His Royal Highness Prince Hj Al-Muhtadee Billah, the Crown Prince and Senior Minister at the Prime Minister's Office has urged the relevant authorities to utilise the budget allocation of the 65th birthday anniversary of His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam wisely and properly and avoid wastage by adhering to the financial regulations presently being enforced.

His Royal Highness, who is also the Patron of the national committee for the birthday celebration, said this in a sabda at the third national committee meeting for the festivities at The Empire Hotel and Country Club yesterday.

HRH expressed his appreciation and gratitude to all committees at the national and district levels, working committees, private sector and citizens and residents of the country for jointly working together with determination in organising the festive activities last year.

"This portrays the strong Bruneian community tradition that practises the concept of teamwork, love and concern. With such cooperation among the committee members, I am convinced that my father's 65th birthday anniversary this year would be celebrated in a joyous manner by all walks of life, regardless of their background, religion and nationalities.

"This year, I was made to understand that the 65-time Quran recitation by members of the public comprising Mukim and village consultative council members nationwide is a new event and highly significant not only to express our gratitude to Allah the Almighty, but also a pious act that promises multiple rewards especially when it is to mark my father's 65th birthday anniversary which also coincides with the Muslim month of Sya'aban," HRH added.

The Crown Prince also lauded the earnest efforts undertaken by the Ministry of Home Affairs in coordinating with other relevant agencies in organising various activities throughout all districts during the annual get-together ceremony with the citizens and residents of the country.

Such efforts must be enhanced to further bring cheer to this year's celebration, as well as to meet the hope and aspiration and to make it appropriate in view of the Muslim months of Sya'aban and Ramadhan.

HRH added that the stable, prosperous and peaceful nation coupled with a harmonious way of life and happiness enjoyed by the community reflects the wise and blessed leadership of his father. "As Bruneians possess high spirit of patriotism, we continue to stick to the decent values and teachings brought about by Islam that encourages all of us to be loyal to the monarch as 'Ulil Amri' and love the nation."

The meeting was chaired by Minister of Home Affairs, Pehin Udana Khatib Dato Paduka Seri Setia Ustaz Hj Awg Badaruddin bin Pengarah Dato Paduka Hj Awg Othman who is also the chairperson of the national committee of the festive celebration.

It was also attended by Chief of Adat Istiadat Negara, YAM Pengiran Lela Cheteria Sahibun Najabah Pengiran Anak Hj Abdul Aziz bin Pengiran Jaya Negara Pengiran Hj Abu Bakar who is also the Deputy Chairman; Grand Chamberlain, YAM Pengiran Penggawa Laila Bentara Istiadat Diraja Dalam Istana Pengiran Hj Alauddin bin Pengiran Paduka Tuan Pengiran Hj Abu Bakar; Pehin Orang Kaya Shahbandar Dato Seri Setia Haji Awang Mohd Nawawi bin Allahyarham Pehin Orang Kaya Shahbandar Haji Awang Mohd Taha; and Deputy Minister of Home Affairs, Pehin Datu Lailaraja Major General (Rtd) Dato Paduka Seri Hj Awg Halbi bin Hj Md Yussof, who is also the Deputy Chairman.

The minister delivered a welcoming speech which among others highlighted the setting up of a task force to monitor sponsorships for the festive celebration and the 65-time recitation of the Quran.

The meeting also touched on the latest updates on the preparation for the Knowledge Convention, mass Maghrib prayer, recitation of surah yaasiin, tahlil and thanksgiving doa and the ceremonial parade on July 15, 2011. - Borneo Bulletin (25th May 2011)