It was a special day for thousands of Bruneians as His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam consented to bestow a personal gift (kurnia) to a total of 12,118 underprivileged people comprising those with special needs, orphans, the poor, those facing financial hardships and those who receive monthly welfare assistance in conjunction with the upcoming Hari Raya Aidilfitri celebrations this year.
The personal gifts from His Majesty will bring great meaning and joy to all the recipients, particularly when all the Muslim citizens and residents in the country will be celebrating Hari Raya soon.
This is the third such ceremony, which clearly illustrates the generosity and concern of His Majesty for the plight of the underprivileged and His Majesty's wish that they be given equal attention especially in terms of alleviating them from their hardship.
Yesterday, 8,156 individuals in the Brunei-Muara District thronged the Istana Nurul Iman to receive the personal gift from His Majesty.
Presenting the kurnia as the personal representative of His Majesty was His Royal Highness Prince Haji Al-Muhtadee Billah, the Deputy Sultan and Her Royal Highness Paduka Seri Pengiran Anak Isteri Pengiran Anak Sarah.
Their Highnesses were greeted on arrival at the Royal Reception Hall of the Istana Nurul Iman by Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Kerna Dato Seri Setia (Dr) Hj Awang Abu Bakar bin Hj Apong, the Minister of Education, and Pehin Datu Singamanteri Col (Rtd) Dato Seri Setia (Dr) Awang Hj Mohd Yasmin bin Hj Umar, the Minister of Energy at the Prime Minister's Office.
The ceremony began with a recital of Surah al-Fatihah and a Doa led by Pehin Datu Imam Dato Paduka Seri Setia Ustaz Hj Awang Abdul Hamid bin Bakal.
The cash gift is hoped to lessen the burden of the recipients and bring more joy to them.
Recently, His Majesty announced a three-day public holiday for the Aidilfitri celebrations, from the previous two days, that reflected His Majesty's emphasis on the value of family institution and with the three-day Hari Raya public holiday, His Majesty hoped families in the country would have more time to celebrate the Hari Raya together. The ceremony to bestow His Majesty's personal gifts to 3,962 underprivileged people in the other three districts of Belait, Tutong and Temburong will be held simultaneously on Thursday, August 16.
HRH Prince Haji Al-Muhtadee Billah, the Deputy Sultan will be presenting His Majesty's kurnia in the Belait District, HRH Paduka Seri Pengiran Anak Isteri Pengiran Anak Sarah in the Temburong District and HRH Prince 'Abdul Mateen in the Tutong District.
Yesterday's ceremony reflected His Majesty's continuous care and concern for the well-being and welfare of his subjects and residents of Brunei Darussalam, especially those who are in need.
- Borneo Bulletin
(15 August 2012)