Belait greets His Majesty
Efna ARS

Citizens and residents of the Belait District came out in big numbers to greet their beloved monarch and other members of the royal family yesterday morning on the occasion of the 66th birthday celebrations of His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam.

The district was the first stop for the "Ramah Mesra" and "Junjung Ziarah" ceremony.

It was also a rare occasion that it was held on a Monday as traditionally the event will be held on Saturday every year to give an opportunity for citizens working in the private sector to join the most awaited get-together.

His Majesty was greeted on arrival at Jln Maulana Helipad by the Minister of Home Affairs, Pehin Udana Khatib Dato Paduka Seri Setia Ustaz Haji Awang Badaruddin bin Pengarah Dato Paduka Haji Awang Othman; Deputy Minister of Home Affairs, Pehin Datu Lailaraja Major General (Rtd) Dato Paduka Seri Haji Awang Halbi bin Haji Md Yussof; Commissioner of Royal Brunei Police Force, Pehin Orang Kaya Pendikar Alam Dato Paduka Seri Hj Hasrin bin Dato Paduka Hj Sabtu; Permanent and Deputy Permanent Secretaries at the Ministry of Home Affairs as well as the Belait District Officer, Awg Hj Haris bin Hj Othman.

Accompanying His Majesty at the get-together ceremony were His Royal Highness Prince Haji Al-Muhtadee Billah the Crown Prince and Senior Minister at the Prime Minister's Office, HRH Prince Mohamed Bolkiah, HRH Prince Haji Sufri Bolkiah, HRH Prince Haji Jefri Bolkiah and HRH Prince 'Abdul Mateen.

Upon arrival at the royal grand stand, His Majesty was greeted with the National Anthem 'Allah Peliharakan Sultan' and three cheers of 'Daulat Kebawah Duli Tuan Patik'. It was followed by a welcoming speech by the Belait District Officer.

The district officer on behalf of the residents in the Belait District renewed the oath of allegiance and undivided loyalty to the monarch.

The ceremony proceeded with a field performance by 466 youths comprised of primary and secondary school students, college students and also from Belait youth associations. The theme of the performance was "Menyusur Tamadun Ilmu" in supporting the national theme "Wawasan Raja, Wawasan Rakyat, Wawasan Negara".

Three segments and a grand finale of the performance were in accordance with nasyid melody, renditions of poetry and poems that reflected on the appreciation of the residents for the monarch's wise leadership.

The sketch also showed the effort in achieving the national Vision 2035 in producing a qualified, skilled and disciplined human resource.

The first segment of the show recalled the days in the 1950s when education evolved from informal to formal. The second segment reflected the monarch's wise leadership in implementing a balanced and compulsory education. The third segment reflected education as one of eight strategies of the nation in realising Vision 2035 with the implementation of SPN21.

Lastly, the grand finale depicted a united nation in achieving the national vision.

The performance ended with the cheer of 'Ya Allah Lanjutkan Usia Kebawah Duli Tuan Patik, Ya Rahman, Lanjutkan Usia Kebawah Duli Tuan Patik, Ya Rahim, Lanjutkan Usia Kebawah Duli Tuan Patik' by all the performers and the special committee of the ceremony led by Muhammad Haziq Haikal bin Hadnani.

Following that, His Majesty and other members of the royal family shook hands and received greetings from thousands of people who had thronged the Municipal Field.

Well wishers comprised of local residents, village representatives, tourists and expatriates who stood anxiously waiting for their turn to greet His Majesty and the royal entourage.

His Majesty and the royal entourage were later ushered to the Dewan Santap for luncheon marking the end of the Junjung Ziarah ceremony.

Today it will be Tutong District's turn to greet His Majesty. - Borneo Bulletin (17 July 2012)