Aug 14 declared special holiday
Azlan Othman

THE Ceremonial Parade to mark the 68th birthday celebration of His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam at Taman Haji Sir Muda Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien as well as the Audience and Investiture Ceremony at the Istana Nurul Iman will be held on Thursday, August 14, 2014, which has been declared a special holiday. The celebratory period of the royal birthday is from August 1 to 31.

His Royal Highness Prince Haji Al-Muhtadee Billah, the Deputy Sultan and the Patron of the National Committee of His Majesty’s 68th birthday celebration, said this in a sabda at the second meeting of the National Committee of His Majesty’s 68th birthday celebration yesterday at the Prime Minister’s Office building.

“Like last year, the date of my father’s 68th birthday this year falls in the month of Ramadhan. Nevertheless, July 15 will still be celebrated taking into account its significance as the actual date of His Majesty’s birthday.

“I am convinced that the committees have made adjustments to the plan and in organising celebratory events in the holy and blessed month. To adapt with the holy month of Ramadhan, my father has consented for the celebratory dates to be from August 1 to 31.

“My father has also consented for the Ceremonial Parade at Taman Haji Sir Muda Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien as well as the Audience and Investiture Ceremony at the Istana Nurul Iman to be held on Thursday, August 14, 2014 which is also declared as a special holiday,” His Royal Highness said.

“Last year, we had several new approaches in organising the events and in welcoming the celebration. I believe this year the experience could be used in holding any events deemed appropriate, in an effort to improve and to make changes to the existing one.

“What is more important is that all improvements or changes should give special emphasis on the content of my father’s titah relating to it, especially in matters pertaining to seeking guidance and blessings from Allah the Almighty,” said the Deputy Sultan.

“Towards this, in my opinion, it is crucial for us to conduct a post-mortem to identify any problems or shortages in organising events that have been carried out.

These include matters relating to initial preparations before the main event, especially those involving government officers, school students, private sector and individuals.

“All that is planned will only become a reality with solid unity, firm understanding and cooperation from every committee of the royal celebration which certainly promise a festive atmosphere.

“That is the real meaning of consensus inherited since the old days as the way of life of Bruneians. Besides hoping for blessings and consent from Allah the Almighty in running all the events smoothly, we wish to see encouraging and active involvement from all citizens and residents in the country.

“These include the involvement of school students, educational institutions, youth associations, government and non-governmental organisations, private sector, government ministries and departments, village consultative councils and so on.

“This is to instil unity among citizens and residents as a sign of support towards the leadership of my father,” said The Dputy Sultan.

In this context, the concept of Malay Islamic Monarchy (MIB) plays a role and the Deputy Sultan stressed it should be a continuous practice in community building based on a pure Islam that prioritises unity.

“It is also in line with my father’s aspiration to make Brunei Darussalam a Zikir Nation.”

The Deputy Sultan was earlier greeted upon arrival by Minister of Home Affairs, Pehin Udana Khatib Dato Paduka Seri Setia Ustaz Haji Awang Badaruddin bin Pengarah Dato Paduka Haji Awang Othman, as the Chairman of the National Committee for His Majesty’s 68th Birthday Celebration. HRH later posed for a group photo with members of the committee.

The ceremony began with the recitation of Surah Al-Fatihah and Doa Selamat, followed by welcoming remarks by the Minister of Home Affairs, who said that the Deputy Sultan’s presence showed the concern and caring attitude of the Deputy Sultan as the Patron of the National Committee for His Majesty’s 68th Birthday Celebration on the preparations that are going to and will be planned by the national committee at the district level and other related committees.

The minister added that a 21-canon blast will kick-start the royal celebration on Tuesday, July 15, 2014 at 8am, followed by a Doa Selamat during Zohor (midday prayer) at all mosques, suraus and religious halls nationwide with special focus at Jame’ ‘Asr Hassanil Bolkiah in Kg Kiarong.

Earlier, the minister said the first national committee meeting of the royal birthday was held on April 9, 2014 to plan and make preparations with the focus on the proposed date of events taking into account that the royal birthday on July 15 this year falls in the month of Ramadhan. - Borneo Bulletin (18 June 2014)