| Khal Baharulalam |
IT was a momentous day for the people of the nation yesterday as Brunei marked its 31st National Day.
Like with countless others, it was undoubtedly memorable for Haji Md Shahrol Azmi bin Haji Abdul Muluk, as he stood confidently before His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam and an audience of over 50,000 people to flawlessly recite the National Day oath.
Haji Md Shahrol Azmi, a lecturer at the Religious Teachers University College of Seri Begawan (KUPU SB), was entrusted to read the oath after an extensive selection process that involved over 200 candidates. This was eventually narrowed down to 31 oath readers.
The lecturer admitted that he never foresaw himself reading the National Day oath – which echoed through the capital, matching the strong patriotic spirit of the crowd.
Upon being confirmed to read the oath, the group of 31 oath readers began their extensive training a month ago.
“Each day of practice, we were obliged to give it our best,” he shared, adding that “throughout the duration of which, we had established bonds among each other, having supported each other throughout the gruelling process.”
Visibly proud, Haji Md Shahrol Azmi expressed his gratitude for being able to take on the role of the main oath reader for his country, registering it as one of the most memorable moments of his life.
After undergoing the final stages of nomination within the first few weeks of training, Haji Md Shahrol Azmi was announced as the main oath reader just 10 days prior to the big day.
“I was completely astounded,” he said, adding that the nerves that came with the responsibility was inevitable and had to have been overcome.
“There were a lot of emotions involved in assuming this role. It has been a mixture of being nervous, happy, inspired and proud throughout this month-long journey.
“It was a completely amazing experience having to stand up before our king to read the National Day oath; it was definitely something to be proud of.”
Despite the gruelling training, he was thankful for the way the coach had given them guidance and support.
“There would be times when some of us would experience vocal-straining but with involvement of all parties and the support that they brought along with them, Alhamdulillah, all of us managed to pull through smoothly.”
His parents, who were around at the time when Brunei was declared independent, were notably proud of their son.
His father, Haji Abdul Muluk, who was involved in the earlier National Day celebrations, admitted he was nervous about the role his son was set to assume.
“I was very nervous for him and we kept on praying for the success and smooth delivery of our son’s reading. Alhamdulillah, he executed the responsibility excellently, and I am very proud of my son,” said the veteran.