Downpour does not dampen spirit of thousands in get-together with Sultan
Hakim Hayat

THOUSANDS of Belait District residents showed their outpouring of love and loyalty to His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam during the get-together ceremony on the occasion of the monarch’s 68th birthday anniversary – a testament of gratitude from the people to the monarch for his wise leadership that has brought about vast developments to the country and high standard of living to its people.

A brief downpour at the venue of the get-together ceremony, Padang Bandaran at the heart of the oil town yesterday morning, did not deter thousands of residents as they greeted their beloved monarch on the special occasion that comes once a year. Equally elated was His Majesty himself, who was very happy to receive his subjects hailing from different parts of the largest district in the Sultanate.

At the sidelines of the event, Haji Mohamad Rozan bin Dato Paduka Haji Mohamad Yunos, Permanent Secretary (Media and Cabinet) at the Prime Minister’s Office, who is also one of the Executive Committee Members of His Majesty’s 68th birthday celebration, said the festive atmosphere, the strong turnout and the sense of togetherness between the king and the people in celebrating the occasion demonstrate the people’s genuine affection towards the monarch.

“We can see from all their happy faces … how eager they were and how all of them swarmed to His Majesty just to get the golden opportunity to greet the monarch.”

He added that the excellent patriotic performances and show put up by people from different sectors and agencies in the government and private sectors are also a testament to the unified bond between the people, regardless of their race. “This is the kind of spirit we need in upholding His Majesty as a symbol of our country who will be holding the reins of the country for long.”

Meanwhile, Legislative Council member representing the Belait District, YB Hj Mohd Shafiee bin Ahmad, also shared the same sentiment, saying that the turnout for the annual event has been increasing year on year. “The highlight of the event is of course the meet and greet session because this is the only time the people can meet His Majesty and send their birthday wishes personally. This is also the time that His Majesty looks forward to the most – spending time with his people,” he said.

As Belait residents were seen happily waiting for their turn to greet the monarch, with their cameras for a photo opportunity. YB Hj Mohd Shafiee noted that the sense of appreciation to the monarch is very profound. “All of us should stand together in supporting the Malay Islamic Monarchy concept of our country, and we want our monarchy system to be sustained because it is proven to be the most ideal system for us. We have enjoyed sustained security, stability and harmony in the country thanks to His Majesty’s wise leadership and concern,” he said.

He also urged the people to give their utmost support and be grateful of developments we have achieved today. “With strong support, Brunei will continuously enjoy progress and prosperity, which are vital for our future generation,” he added. - Borneo Bulletin (18 August 2014)