RESIDENTS of the Belait District were bristling with excitement yesterday as their Sunday morning schedule was occupied by a get-together session with His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam as part of the monarch’s 68th nationwide birthday celebrations.
As the opportunity to greet one’s ruler hardly comes around for some people – a monarch highly respected by his subjects – crowds from all walks of life thronged from both ends of the tents set up for the occasion to seize the opportunity to share a moment or two with the ruler. Coming from a cross section of races and ages, the Bulletin came across a married couple who are no strangers to festivities like these.
Senior citizens, 86-year-old Mat Said bin Tundak and his 64-year-old spouse Hajah Saerah Abd Rahman, were seen in their highest spirits as they walked hand-in-hand under the wet weather, after having been able to attend the get-together session yet again.
Having been residents of the district their entire lives, the two shared stories of those from previous royal birthday celebrations. “It’s truly an honour to watch His Majesty grow from being a young monarch into the ruler he is now,” said Mat Said. “I have seen countless number of the king’s birthday get-together sessions and although performances have changed by the year, the spirit that ignites these occasions still feels somewhat familiar.”
Meanwhile, Hajah Saerah walked down memory lane and spoke of the old Belait District and praised His Majesty for having been responsible for the greater changes the district has seen over the decades His Majesty has sat on the throne. The couple later wished their beloved monarch a blessed birthday and wished His Majesty longevity among the royal family and the royal generations to come.
At the other end of the crowd, another duo was seen to have held a youthful sentiment from attending yesterday’s session. Twenty-four-year-old twins Siti Nadzirah binti Haji Anai and Siti Nadhirah binti Haji Anai had been under His Majesty’s Government Scholarship undertaking Mechanical Engineering for the last five years in Germany.
Having returned to serve their nation, the ladies were ecstatic to have been at yesterday’s endearing get-together. “We once participated in the royal birthday performance when we were children, but never have we had the chance to personally meet and greet our king.”
It holds an even more special meaning to the ladies with the sole fact that yesterday gave them a chance to personally thank the monarch responsible for their education. The ladies also wished His Majesty a blessed birthday and longevity.
- Borneo Bulletin
(18 August 2014)