| Siti Hajar |
IN LESS than a week, Bandar Seri Begawan will be the focal point of the Sultanate as Brunei Darussalam marks another year of independence.
Thousands of people from all walks of life are expected to descend on Taman Haji Sir Muda Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien on February 23 to watch some 8,000 participants from government agencies, private bodies, Non-Government Organisations (NGOs) and youth movements march in unison to observe the 31st National Day.
Carrying a theme that is still considered relevant despite its repetition, this year’s celebration will emphasise the younger generation’s role in developing a country that they will inherit in the future.
“The (celebration’s) theme, ‘Generation with a Vision’, is still valid,” the Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports (MCYS), Dato Paduka Haji Mohammad Hamid bin Haji Mohammad Jaafar, told the Bulletin yesterday on the sidelines of a press conference held at the MCYS.
“We see the theme’s continued relevance and we are still seeking the objectives that are tied to the theme.”
Also in attendance yesterday were Permanent Secretary at the MCYS and Co-chairperson for this year’s National Day celebration, Dato Paduka Dr Haji Affendy bin Pehin Orang Kaya Saiful Mulok Dato Seri Paduka Haji Abidin, YAM Pengiran Dr Haji Hidup bin Pengiran Haji Shamsuddin from the Adat Istiadat Negara Department, Khairul bin Hadi from the Information Department and Haji Mohammad Syafien bin Yandol @ Abdullah from the Land Transport Department.
This year’s National Day logo features symbols that show what Brunei stands for today.
With the use of the earth tone colours of yellow, green, brown and black that take the shape of a flower in bloom, the logo not only emphasises
the country’s will to become a Zikir Nation that is home to seven Malay ethnic groups, but also stresses the importance of the country’s historical trials and tribulations, the challenges that need to be overcome and how the older generation can guide the youth to achieve the nation’s aspirations.
“In moving ahead, especially with Wawasan 2035 (Vision 2035), we need to appreciate and know where we came from and what we have accomplished,” said Dato Paduka Haji Mohammad Hamid.
“The previous generation has contributed significantly and we need to appreciate that. They have built what we enjoy now – a strong economy, peace and stability under the leadership of His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam.
“We need to relay this to our younger generation and hope that they will continue to build the nation together in our journey towards 2035.”
In the run-up to the celebration, thanksgiving prayers will be held from 5.45pm at the Jame’ ‘Asr Hassanil Bolkiah in Kampong Kiarong that His Majesty is expected to attend.
To prepare for the National Day celebration, participants have also been holding rehearsals with the full-dress rehearsal to take place on Feb 21.
Meanwhile, with the anticipated traffic in the capital over the next few days, the Royal Brunei Police Force (RBPF) during yesterday’s press conference urged the public to cooperate with the officers on duty and also encouraged participants to carpool to reduce traffic congestion.
Over 200 applications for media passes have been received by the Information Department to acquire special permits to give coverage to the event.