His Majesty presents exemplary religious awards
Fadhil Yunus

His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam consented to present the 'Exemplary Religious Figure Award' to Pehin Udana Khatib Dato Paduka Seri Setia Ustaz Hj Awg Badaruddin bin Pengarah Dato Paduka Hj Awg Othman, the Minister of Home Affairs, in conjunction with the new Islamic year 1434 Hijrah at Jame' 'Asr Hassanil Bolkiah last night.

His Majesty also consented to present the 'Meritorious Service Award' to Awg Hj Abdul Hamid bin Hj Tamat and Awg Hj Abdul Manap bin Hj Lahid.

The recipient of the 'Exemplary Religious Figure' award, Pehin Udana Khatib Dato Paduka Seri Setia Ustaz Hj Awg Badaruddin has been widely known for providing significant contributions in various fields, not only in the dissemination of religious education, "Dakwah", Syarak Law and Islamic Law but also in the aspects of general knowledge, administration, economy, diplomacy, information, Islamic banking and finance, Islamic literature, charity, community development and others which shaped the religion and the Muslim population in the country.

After gaining his Masters qualification in Policy in Islamic Legal Studies at the Al-Azhar University in 1971, he began his career as a religious officer at the Department of Religious Affairs. He had also held senior positions in information and "Tabligh" and was also the first Director of the Islamic Dakwah Centre.

Following that, he was inducted into the Government Secretary Office as the Head Officer of Information, before taking over as the Director of Information.

Before he was appointed as Permanent Secretary at the Prime Minister's Office, the Burong Pingai-based resident had also been commissioned as Ambassador to the Republic of Indonesia and non-resident High Commissioner to Papua New Guinea.

Pehin Udana Khatib Dato Paduka Seri Setia Ustaz Hj Awg Badaruddin has also been entrusted as Chairman of the Public Service Commission prior to his appointment as the Deputy Minister of Religious Affairs before serving in his current position as Minister of Home Affairs.

Also recognised under his pen name Badaruddin HO, the award recipient has also been endeared with several well-known achievements through the Asean-COCI Award in the field of information and was the recipient of the SEA Write Award from the Government of the Kingdom of Thailand and the MASTERA Awards in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

At the age of 71, he does not only possess sharp vision but he also drew inspiration through his vocal abilities in presenting religious sermons, public lectures as well as drafting working papers which promote awareness and interest towards the Muslim community mainly to the citizens in the country on the importance and appreciation of religious life.

In recognising his excellent contributions and loyal service of the recipient towards religion, monarch and country, he was bestowed with the title Yang Dimuliakan Pehin Udana Khatib in 1984. He was also chosen to lead many members in statutory bodies and important national-level committees.

Pehin Udana Khatib Dato Paduka Seri Setia Ustaz Haji Awang Badaruddin has been awarded the Darjah Seri Ugama Islam Negara Brunei Yang Amat Bersinar Darjah Pertama (PSSUB), which carries the title Dato Paduka Seri Setia, as well as other medal decorations.

Pehin Udana Khatib Dato Paduka Seri Setia Ustaz Hj Awg Badaruddin also received a cash award of B$20,000, certificate of honour, souvenir accompaniment as well as medical privileges in First Class wards in all government hospitals in the country.

Meanwhile, Awg Hj Abdul Hamid began his service with the Government of His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam in 1963 as a non-trained religious teacher.

As a religious teacher, he made the initiative by conducting adult classes in reading Al-Quran with melody and "tajweed" in his own home, which was led by Allahyarham Awg Hj Abdul Kadir bin Awg, as well as teaching prayer lessons to the community.

Awg Hj Abdul Manap bin Hj Lahid, 85, began his career in 1961 as an Imam. His inclination to enliven the eminence of Islam can be seen through his efforts, together with those of the village residents, to build a surau in 1956 even before he became an Imam.

Three years after building the surau, he and the village residents succeeded once again to build a mosque through collections, which was worth B$3,800.

The Minister of Home Affairs, Pehin Udana Khatib Dato Paduka Seri Setia Ustaz Hj Awg Badaruddin in a statement expressed his gratitude and gratefulness to Allah the Almighty for the recognition as the recipient of the 1434H 'Exemplary Religious Figure Award'.

The minister said, "Education and religious knowledge through systematic (learning) from primary level to a higher level of learning that we follow instil strong influences in thinking, attitude and our actions in applying Islam and making it relevant with the modernisation of Brunei are through these various ways, firstly by setting forth Islam as a religion, which is dynamic, not static. At the same time, we also engage the community to believe that appreciating the teachings of Islam in the right and perfect manner not only demonstrate our obligation but also a catalyst to the social and political stability of Brunei."

"Second, we use an inclusive approach, that is, to engage all people, all corners of the community and individuals. They are called upon to lead a religious life that they can accomplish through their level of competence. Therefore, the strategy in the development of Islam is to enhance the level of capabilities in individuals, families and the community in understanding Islam and appreciating its' teachings," he added.

Apart from playing a role in ensuring that the current and future generation respects the religion, the minister also said that priority must also be met to enhance and strengthen the commitment of the Islamic education that are capable in producing versatility in religious knowledge, capable and able to address the current issues through cleverly thought arguments. - Borneo Bulletin (15 November 2012)