BRUNEI Darussalam’s 31st National Day celebrations at the Taman Haji Sir Muda Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien were grand as they have always been over the years.
My family and I enjoyed every bit of it despite the stifling heat. For the many thousands of Bruneians who were there including students, it was a day of patriotism and joy.
It was a great feeling to soak in the atmosphere, though I am not a Bruneian. But having lived in this peaceful country where people from different cast, creed and colour live in harmony, I consider this great nation my home, too.
The love and respect people have for His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam and other royal family members is one of a kind. It’s very rare in the world to see a leader get close to his people as His Majesty does. These will remain in me as lasting memories of Brunei Darussalam.
Later that evening, as I was heading to my office in my car, I switched on to FM. The DJ announced that he was about to link up with TraxxFM in Malaysia. I am a fan of TraxxFM (no, I am not a Malaysian), an English channel under RTM and is funded by the Malaysian government.
The TraxxFM DJs speak well and Mary is my favourite. The link-up seemed like a one-off thing for Brunei’s National Day.
The channels were connected and the DJs exchanged pleasantries. I had to stop my car engine briefly and picked up the conversation when I restarted.
The Malaysian DJ asked what was the highlight of His Majesty’s titah. I was surprised the local DJ read out the headline that appeared in a newspaper. He could have at least made an effort to elaborate instead of reading out a headline.
That the local DJ was holding a newspaper in front of him looked apparent when the Malaysian DJ asked about Brunei National Day theme.
Struggling to find where the theme was in the newspaper, the local DJ tried to buy time. He could neither go silent nor say anything that might have made the situation worse. But he made it clear he was searching and the smart Malaysian DJ jumped to a congratulatory message before the local DJ said it’s Generation with a Vision.
I am appalled that a Brunei FM channel hooks up to a popular Malaysian FM channel on one of the most important days to show our patriotism and fumble this way on something as simple as the theme.
Don’t our DJs do some preparation before they go on air? Isn’t it the producer’s responsibility to provide some information?
But all Brunei FM channels have been running preambles on Brunei National Day and I have heard so many times the theme being mentioned.
TraxxFM being so popular in Malaysia, so many hundreds of Malaysians might have been tuned in to the channel at the time and we in Brunei on our big day have only this to offer.
With that major fumble, the Brunei DJ had obviously become nervous. He said 31 years have passed by very fast since Brunei became independent and laughed. Not knowing what to say to something as irrelevant as that the Malaysian DJ laughed “oh ho ho” in Santa Claus style.
I may not be a Bruneian but I was hurt and I switched off not wanting to hear something more silly.
Speaking on radio is an art. If a mic is thrust in front of me and told “you are on air”, my throat will run dry and I may start stuttering. A lot of credit goes to all Brunei DJs who are doing a wonderful job. One or two of them do it with elan. They are definitely keeping us all entertained and a big thanks go to them for that.
Next time when you link up with a much bigger network, please be prepared to answer at least basic questions. Our country’s reputation is at stake.
– FM Listener