Her Majesty presents Bakti Hijrah Awards
By Hamidah Ismail

Her Majesty Raja Isteri Pengiran Anak Hajah Saleha has consented to present the Bakti Hijrah Award to deserving women who have made significant contributions to the community in the area of religious education and Islamic propagation (dakwah). The 2nd Bakti Hijrah Award Ceremony took place yesterday, during the 18th Special Women's Gathering in conjunction with Maulidur Rasul 1433 Hijrah, the birthday anniversary of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). The gathering was held at the Plenary Hall of the International Convention Centre in Berakas.

The event was also attended by Her Royal Highness Paduka Seri Pengiran Anak Isteri Pengiran Anak Sarah, HRH Princess Hajah Majeedah Nuurul Bolkiah, HRH Princess Hajah Hafizah Sururul Bolkiah, HRH Princess Fadzilah Lubabul Bolkiah, HRH Princess Hajah Masna, and HRH Princess Hajah Amal Umi Kalthum Al-Islam.

Her Majesty and members of the royal family were greeted by co-chairpersons of the event's organising committee from the Ministry of Religious Affairs, Ministry of Communications and the Brunei Darussalam Women's Council. The event began with the recital of verses from the Holy Quran by Dk Fauziah Nadhirah binti Pg Hj Jofri, first runner-up in the Southeast Asia Al-Quran Competition held last year. The Malay language translation of the recited verses was read by Dyg Hjh Aleyah Fatehah binti Hj Japar, a religious officer at the Al-Quran Learning and Dissemination Centre of MABIMS, Ministry of Religious Affairs.

The welcoming remarks were delivered by event Co-Chairperson Dr Hjh Masnon binti Hj Ibrahim, Ra'es of the Seri Begawan Religious Teachers University College (KUPUSB). This was followed by a special forum themed "Pious Women, a Torch for the Ummah" whose panel consisted of Dr Hj Nor Arfan bin Hj Zainal, Assistant Ra'es of KUPUSB and Dr Hjh Rasinah binti Hj Ahim, Deputy Dean of the Faculty of Usuluddin, Universiti Islam Sultan Sharif Ali (UNISSA).

The highlight of the Special Women's Gathering was the presentation of the Bakti Hijrah Award by Her Majesty the Raja Isteri to four recipients. The four women are Datin Hjh Fatimah binti Dato Seri Setia Abang Hj Razali, Datin Dyg Hjh Duratul 'Ain binti Hj Bakar, Dyg Hjh Aminah binti Hj Siling and Dyg Hjh Kertini binti Orang Kaya Pekerma Setia Diraja Abang Hj Abu Hanafiah.

The recipients were each presented with an honorary certificate, a B$10,000 cash award, memorabilia and free medical services at the first-class wards of any government hospitals in the country.

The function was further enlivened with a Dikir Marhaban performance by the officers and staff of the Ministry of Religious Affairs and Ministry of Communications and their departments, as well as members of the Brunei Darussalam Women's Council. - Borneo Bulletin (10th February 2012)