Pledging commitment & loyalty
Fadhil Yunus & Rokiah Mahmud

WITH the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium in silence, this year’s oath reader, ASP Hj Mohamad Noor bin Hj Abdul Rahman, stood firm and led the masses with the declaration of safeguarding the nation.

The honour of representing the country as an oath reader is a rare opportunity and the 32-year-old gave his best to grab the attention of all towards the grand finale of the celebrations in the presence of His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam and members of the royal family, as well as the thousands who thronged the stadium.

At the end of 2013, approximately 100 individuals from the government and private sectors applied for the role.

According to ASP Hj Mohamad Noor, there is a selection process to identify the suitable oath reader about a week before the grand event.

First the top six would be identified, and then the list would be trimmed down to four before the final presentation in front of the permanent secretary at the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports.

“Right preparations are crucial, especially in looking after one’s health, because once compromised, there will be a concern on the voice of the presenter.

“Therefore, it is crucial to control one’s intake of food and drinks, while also taking to consideration the right hours of sleep. We have to practise all of these once we are selected,” he continued.

Then calamity struck when the representative from the Royal Brunei Police Force suffered illness with 24 hours to spare before he was due to present again. Fortunately ASP Hj Mohamad Noor overcame the obstacles.

“On the final day before the selection process, my voice was all over the place due to the illness. So I had to consume medicine and, Alhamdulillah, it turned out okay,” said ASP Hj Mohamad Noor.

In the eyes of ASP Hj Mohamad Noor, the theme “Generation with A Vision” is profoundly defined and is connected to the future of Brunei Darussalam mainly in social and economic terms.

He added that it is compulsory for the people to improve themselves in order to build the country.

“Generation with A Vision can involve anyone, but of course the main priority is the younger group which plays a crucial role in our country’s progress. The generation which comprises veterans also plays a fundamental role in guiding and advising the younger generation. We can appreciate the value of their teachings,” he said.

Also sharing her view on this year’s theme was Dayang Huwaida binti Moksin, one of the oath reading participants, who expressed her hope that Brunei would always be guided and blessed by Allah the Almighty, and that it would produce more a educated, respected, competitive and empowered generation which may lead the country to achieve Vision 2035.

Meanwhile, Dayang Alizah Hidup, another oath reader, highlighted that this year’s theme urged the youth to be more proactive, dynamic, knowledgeable, multi-talented and skillful as they will be the future leader of the nation.

“The success and the joy of independence enjoyed for the past 30 years shall drive us to contribute more for the benefits of our country,” she added.

Haji Bolhassan bin Haji Abu Bakar, one of the participants representing the Volunteer Unit from Yayasan Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah, said the involvement of thousands of youths reflected their energetic spirit regardless of their background.

“The young generation shall, from now on, learn through formal education but also life outside the classrooms. Volunteer activities for instance, will mould youths to be more independent, and polish their leadership skills, communication, as well as being compassionate towards others.”

As for Dayang Ismawardi Haji Abd Rahman, who represented Kemuda Institute, shared that the participation of youth reflected their commitment and undivided loyalty for the nation and monarch.

“In line with the Brunei National Youth Policy, we as the generation today must appreciate our independence that has become one of the driving force towards Vision 2035.

“Our commitment, from a youth perspective, is crucial.

“We cannot afford to be careless or negligent in fulfilling the spirit of independence.” - Borneo Bulletin (24 February 2014)