Rain or Shine, Brunei celebrates
His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Haji Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien Sa’adul Khairi Waddien, Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam attended the Brunei Darussalam’s 33rd National Day at Taman Haji Sir Muda Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien
Written by Rokiah Mahmud of Borneo Bulletin. An early morning heavy downpour that soaked the quiet streets of Bandar Seri Begawan failed to dampen the spirit of patriotism, love and loyalty towards the nation as thousands of citizens and residents flooded the capital to celebrate Brunei Darussalam’s 33rd National Day on Thursday, 23rd February 2017.
Following the arrival of His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Haji Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien Sa’adul Khairi Waddien, Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam, the Taman Haji Sir Muda Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien was awash with a multitude of colours as thousands, young and old, serving and retired as well as the differently abled, marched in unison across the field’s stretch in a show of patriotism and loyalty.
Witnessed by His Majesty who was accompanied by 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; His Royal Highness Prince Haji Jefri Bolkiah; His Royal Highness Prince ‘Abdul Malik; His Royal Highness Prince ‘Abdul Wakeel; and Her Royal Highness Princess Ameerah Wardatul Bolkiah, the magnificent National Day parade and celebration saw more than a 23,000-strong team ranging from field performers, parade participants to students lining the way for the royal convoy.
Upon arrival at the Taman, His Majesty and members of the royal family were greeted by the Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports, Pehin Datu Lailaraja Major General (Rtd) Dato Paduka Seri Haji Awang Halbi bin Haji Mohd Yussof, in his capacity as the Chairman of the Executive Committee for the 33rd National Day celebrations, as well as other members of the committee.
The royal convoy was greeted by enthusiastic people in their thousands with the royal salute and singing of the national anthem.
His Majesty then consented to inspect the royal guard of honour mounted by personnel from the Royal Brunei Armed Forces and Royal Brunei Police Force.
With the theme ‘Accomplishing the National Vision’ (Menjayakan Wawasan Negara), yesterday’s event had been weeks in the making with thousands of participants enduring heat and humidity during coordinated military-precision training to provide the nation with the best the people were able to muster to mark one of Brunei’s most important historical events.
This year’s theme aimed to instil three main features – loyalty to the Sultan and country, belief in the values of Islam and the harmony of social and traditional practices.
The theme states that each citizen, resident as well as all sectors involved in national development have a role in ensuring that the Brunei Vision 2035 is successfully realised.
The Brunei Vision 2035 of His Majesty envisages making the country known throughout the world as a nation with people who are educated, highly skilled and successful that is measured by the highest international standards, as well as creating a dynamic and sustainable economy.
Yesterday’s celebration began with a parade led by flag bearers carrying a giant size national flag symbolising the nation’s sovereignty and the people’s spirit of independence and love and loyalty towards the nation.
Behind them were the 33 oath readers carrying national flags and the logo of the 33rd National Day; contingents of the Royal Brunei Armed Forces, Royal Brunei Police Force, differently abled, government ministries and departments, district representatives – all walked with full of confidence and pride reflecting their strong commitment in meeting the aspiration of the country.
A team of 100 students representing three different schools, namely Anggerek Desa Primary School, Haji Mohammad Jaafar Maun Primary School and St George’s School and the National Service Programme (PKBN) contingent of 360 trainees of the 6th intake performed a chorus describing the role of the young generation in realising the Brunei Vision 2035.
The parade also saw teams from higher education institutions, colleges, government and private secondary and primary schools, non-governmental organisations, banks, foreign associations as well as a group of excellent achievers marching to celebrate the country’s independence.
Educational institutions made up the largest single group in the parade with over 10,000 parading for them.
More than half of the march past participants comprised youth, showing their commitment in developing the nation’s capabilities.
Amid the march past, the proclamation of oath, led by Muhammad Ihsan Sabri bin Haji Abdul Manap, Acting Assistant Brunei-Muara District Officer as well as the call of ‘Allahu Akbar’ three times, led by Pengiran Muhammad Ameer Mubaarak bin Pengiran Haji Hashim, Administrative Officer Grade One at the Ministry of Education, echoed in the capital.
The oath readers’ team comprised 33 participants selected from various government and private sector institutions, higher education institutions, uniformed departments and associations. The team was also represented by two special needs participants who used sign language to deliver the oath.
The highlight of the 33rd National Day celebration was field performances showcased by some 7,133 participants that reflected solidarity among the people in upholding the commitment to realise the country’s vision.
Before leaving the Taman, His Majesty consented to meet and greet the participants and appreciate them for their committed efforts to make the 33rd National Day celebration a big success, overcoming a hostile weather. Image courtesy by Haqimie.