Tutong’s tribute to Sultan
Izah Azahari

THE National Anthem sung in chorus resonated through a colourfully decorated Tutong Town yesterday morning that marked the beginning of the second Junjung Ziarah and Get-Together Ceremony with His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam in conjunction with the monarch’s 68th birthday celebration.

The ceremony that took place at the Tutong District’s Community Hall Field Complex saw hundreds of students from the district gleefully lined up along the street waving miniature national flags to greet His Majesty and other members of the royal family. The royal entourage was greeted on arrival by the Minister of Home Affairs, Pehin Udana Khatib Dato Paduka Seri Setia Ustaz Hj Awg Badaruddin bin Pengarah Dato Paduka Hj Awg Othman.

Accompanying His Majesty were His Royal Highness Prince Haji Al-Muhtadee Billah, the Crown Prince and Senior Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office, His Royal Highness Prince Mohamed Bolkiah, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, His Royal Highness Prince Haji Jefri Bolkiah, His Royal Highness Prince ‘Abdul Malik and His Royal Highness Prince ‘Abdul Mateen.

As the National Anthem ended three cheers of “Daulat Kebawah Duli Tuan Patik” by the residents and citizens of the Tutong District reverberated throughout the field.

Awang Wardi bin Haji Mohammad Ali, the Tutong District Officer, delivered an address of thanks and pledge of undivided loyalty on behalf of the residents in the district to the beloved monarch. He also spoke of the various progress and welfare enjoyed by all walks of life in the Tutong District due to the great leadership of His Majesty including socio-economic development through the increase in new buildings for business, industrial, tourism and business activities, as well as the increase in public amenities at Mukim and Kampong levels.

The Tutong District Officer added that these developments will generate an increase in the level of participation of citizens and residents of the district in becoming more active, especially members of the Mukim and Village Consultative Councils, as well as generate community economic growth in addition to creating job opportunities for those residing in the district.

His Majesty and other members of the royal family watched the National Level Tug-of-War Competition Finals at the Field Complex. The competition has become one of the annual traditions that is highly anticipated during His Majesty’s birthday celebration by the public where representatives from all four districts compete against each other.

A special performance by members of the Tutong community themed ‘Raja Pemimpin Perpaduan Rakyat’, or loosely translated as ‘The Monarch, Leader of the People’s Solidarity’, was the highlight of the get-together followed by four segments leading up to the grand finale that saw participants filling the stage and field in colourful costumes and beautifully orchestrated music.

Later, His Majesty consented to present trophies and prizes to the winners of the National Level Tug-of-War Competition Finals, followed by the get-together session between His Majesty and other members of the royal family with the masses who waited with bated breath in the tents to deliver birthday greetings to His Majesty.

At the end of the event, His Majesty and other members of the royal family were led to a Santap at the Main Hall of the Tutong Community Hall that saw a cake-cutting ceremony by the Monarch followed by a ‘Junjung Ziarah’ with committee members and invited guests.

The joyful celebration clearly showed the great delight citizens and residents expressed in welcoming their caring monarch to the district, regardless of their race, religion or age. - Borneo Bulletin (20 August 2014)