THE moment that “KBians” was waiting finally came for thousands who gathered at Padang Bandaran in Kuala Belait for hours for the arrival of their beloved king, His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam, to be with his subject on the occasion of the annual “Ramah Mesra” (meet and greet) ceremony in conjunction with His Majesty’s 68th birthday celebrations.
This is an annual tradition where His Majesty, who is much loved by his people, goes around the field to greet his subjects. To the masses, it is an opportunity to meet and shake hands with His Majesty up-close in a very unofficial and casual manner – a chance that even foreign nationals like to experience to convey their greetings personally to the just and benevolent king.
Before the meet and greet session, a special performance was staged in front of His Majesty. This has been the annual highlight during the “Ramah Mesra” event in every district.
This year in Kuala Belait, more than 600 people from all age groups took part in the special performances, where they dressed up in colourful costumes to portray a reflection of united love and undivided loyalty towards the king.
His Majesty was accompanied by 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 Jefri Bolkiah and HRH Prince ‘Abdul Malik.
This year’s special performances carried the theme “Kekal Beraja Sejahtera Negara”, which signifies the ideology of the aspiration of the nation and the people to defend the institution of the monarchy for the welfare and security of the nation.
The special performances were a combination of participations from the Mukim and Village Consultative Councils, government officers and staff, youth, students and representatives from local ethnic groups.
The Belait District Officer, Awang Haji Haris bin Haji Othman, said the performances were reinforced with a narrator, poems and choirs while being accompanied by traditional musical instruments and drums to enliven the performances that reflected and brought about a strong societal cohesion especially in Belait District and generally in all four districts.
The performances showed a deep and undivided loyalty towards the institution of monarchy and strong love towards the beloved and much adored Sultan, all in sync to support, uphold and defend the national identity that has been around since the beginning of the birth of the nation hundreds of years ago.
“For sure, it is in this system of monarchy that the nation will continue to gain the blessings, security and prosperity, enjoying various developments and progress and to reach happiness and high living quality in a peaceful nation with a blissful environment,” he said.
The performances include drama sketches involving coordinated movements, props and formation of participants portraying happiness, cheerfulness and blissfulness of the people and various ethnic communities in Brunei under the fabric of strong love of parents to their children, harmonious family condition and unwavering loyalty towards the just and benevolent king.
For Brunei Darussalam, the Sultan is depicted as the “Payung Negara” (shelter for the nation), which symbolises harmony, solidarity and prosperity of the country, who is the saviour or protector of the people of multi-ethnic groups in this country.
- Borneo Bulletin
(18 August 2014)