Over 36,000 wish royal family ‘Selamat Hari Raya’
Rokiah Mahmud & Achong Tanjong

A TOTAL of 36,710 people from all walks of life thronged Istana Nurul Iman in the capital to wish ‘Selamat Hari Raya’ to His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam, Her Majesty Raja Isteri Pengiran Anak Hajah Saleha and other members of the royal family yesterday.

Their Majesties with members of the royal family received a total of 21,984 Hari Raya well-wishers at the palace during the morning session from 10am to 12 noon, while the afternoon session from 2pm to 4pm saw 14,726 people.

The annual tradition at the Istana Nurul Iman, a rare occasion and not seen anywhere else in the world, sees commoners meeting and personally conveying Hari Raya Aidilfitri greetings to Their Majesties and members of the royal family, a true demonstration of the monarch’s hospitality. It also shows the people’s affection for the royal family.

Accompanying His Majesty to receive the male well-wishers at Baitul Rahmah Hall were HRH Prince Haji Al-Muhtadee Billah, the Crown Prince and Senior Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office; HRH Prince Mohamed Bolkiah, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade; HRH Prince Haji Jefri Bolkiah; HRH Prince ‘Abdul Malik; HRH Prince ‘Abdul Mateen; HRH Prince ‘Abdul Wakeel and other members of the royal family.

Meanwhile, receiving the female well-wishers in an adjacent room with Her Majesty were HRH Paduka Seri Pengiran Anak Isteri Pengiran Anak Sarah; HRH Pengiran Anak Isteri Pengiran Anak Hajah Zariah; HRH Princess Hajah Rashidah Sa’adatul Bolkiah; HRH Princess Hajah Majeedah Nuurul Bolkiah; HRH Princess ‘Azemah Ni’matul Bolkiah; HRH Princess Fadzilah Lubabul Bolkiah and HRH Princess Ameerah Wardatul Bolkiah. Also present were HRH Princess Hajah Masna and HRH Princess Hajah Amal Umi Kalthum Al-Islam.

Prior to receiving members of the public, His Majesty granted an audience to Singapore’s Senior Minister of State for Foreign Affairs and Home Affairs Masagos Zulkifli while Her Majesty received in audience the Singaporean Senior Minister’s spouse, Madam Jumelah Ja’afar.

Senior Singapore leaders have joined in the Hari Raya celebrations in the Sultanate since 2012. These visits reflect the abiding friendship and warm relations between Singapore and Brunei.

Among those joining thousands of the crowds were personnel from the Royal Brunei Armed Forces (RBAF), His Majesty the Sultan’s Flight, uniformed personnel and retired RBAF personnel.

Istana Nurul Iman will be open to the public for three days from July 30 to August 1 from 10am to 12 noon for the morning session and 2pm to 4pm for the afternoon session. - Borneo Bulletin (31 July 2014)