His Majesty's birthday to enhance community ties
Siti Hajar

With the upcoming celebrations for His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam's 66th birthday, bodies responsible for the various activities have been reminded to keep in mind aspects that are constructive as a whole when planning for the national festivity.

Delivering a sabda yesterday during the Third Meeting of the National Executive Committee for His Majesty The Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam's 66th birthday celebrations that was held at the Empire Hotel and Country Club, His Royal Highness Prince Haji Al-Muhtadee Billah, the Deputy Sultan, stressed that His Majesty's birthday "should not be perceived solely to hold events for enjoyment, but should also cultivate elements of leadership and knowledge".

As the celebrations will begin just days before the start of, and carried out during, the month of Ramadhan, His Royal Highness has expressed his approval of the events that are already lined up, including the finale for the '66-time Khatam Al-Quran' that was consented to by His Majesty as well as religious events at the district level in the form of competitions to memorise selected verses from the Al-Quran for members of the Mukim and Village Consultative Councils and members of the Mosque Takmir Committee throughout the country.

"With these forms of events, Inshya Allah, we shall hope for His (Allah the Almighty) blessings whilst also forging the brotherly ties of Silaturrahim amongst the community", and this, said His Royal Highness, "is the main objective of the celebration of His Majesty's birthday".

As with previous celebrations, His Royal Highness has also announced that this year will see the organisation of the Knowledge Convention that will be participated by "leading figures in knowledge from both within and outside the country" where "they will discuss and exchange opinions on topics of various knowledge, which would also subsequently enrich our nation's civilisation".

Touching upon His Majesty's recent visit to the Ministry of Home Affairs earlier in the month, His Royal Highness described the meeting with the members of the National Executive Committee for His Majesty's 66th Birthday Celebrations during the said visit as being "very historic".

The meeting, explained His Royal Highness, heard "constructive criticism" given by the monarch "specifically with regards to the placement of the large pictures of His Majesty at inappropriate places and also the tendency to increase the number of these pictures, even though most were identical".

"This, according to His Majesty's titah, was not necessary and in fact could lead to wastage," said the Deputy Sultan.

As the titah also spoke on the landmark for the celebrations, "His Majesty stated that the landmark was meant to inspire as well as to represent nationhood. It is not an advertisement and in fact, should not be likened to an advertisement because advertisements exist solely for the purpose of attracting the attention of consumers.

"His Majesty's titah, I believe, has the capacity to breathe new life into the National Executive Committee for the Celebration to be more cautious in planning and coordinating all the festive events.

"I am of the opinion that the national committee must not only accept it with an open heart but it is also most appropriate to express our deepest gratitude to His Majesty for his conscientiousness in attending and issuing his titah.

"All the matters in the titah shall facilitate bigger ideas for us to undertake in all events including events at the districts that involve His Majesty meeting the people. Such events are important in order to cultivate the spirit of affection for the Monarch and love for our country.

"Both these elements should be ingrained and steadfast in the hearts of every citizen as a mark of their commitment to the perpetuation of the monarchy and our nationhood."

Prior to ending the sabda, His Royal Highness, who is also the Patron for the National Executive Committee for the Celebration, expressed his appreciation to the country's government officers, Mukim and Village Consultative Councils, the private sector as well as the people of Brunei "for their full support in realising this year's celebrations to ensure that, Inshya Allah, all will run smoothly and successfully".

Yesterday's meeting, meanwhile, was chaired by the Minister of Home Affairs, Pehin Udana Khatib Dato Paduka Seri Setia Ustaz Hj Awg Badaruddin bin Pengarah Dato Paduka Hj Awg Othman and was attended by YAM Pengiran Lela Cheteria Sahibun Najabah Pengiran Anak Haji Abdul Aziz bin Pengiran Jaya Negara Pengiran Haji Abu Bakar, the Chief of Adat Istiadat Negara as Deputy Chairperson; YAM Pengiran Penggawa Laila Bentara Istiadat Diraja Dalam Istana Pg Hj Alauddin bin Pengiran Paduka Tuan Pg Hj Abu Bakar, the Grand Chamberlain; Deputy Minister of Home Affairs, Pehin Datu Lailaraja Major General (Rtd) Dato Paduka Seri Hj Awg Halbi bin Hj Mohd Yussof as Deputy Chairperson; and YAM Pengiran Seri Wijaya Pg Hj Ahmad bin Pg Mohd Yusof, Senior Assistant to the Chief of Adat Istiadat Negara.

The event commenced with the recital of Surah al-Fatihah and a 'Doa Selamat'. This was followed by welcoming remarks by the Minister of Home Affairs, who stated that His Majesty's titah will be adhered to by the national executive committee and that the presence of HRH at yesterday's meeting is indicative of the Deputy Sultan's concern for the birthday preparations.

The minister also presented a report to HRH of the current preparations for His Majesty's birthday event including mass Maghrib prayers and Surah Yassiin recital, tahlil and thanksgiving prayers, the Guard of Honour event on July 15, 2012, as well as the Knowledge Convention. - Borneo Bulletin (27 May 2012)