| Hakim Hayat |
CITIZENS and residents from all four districts descended on the capital of Bandar Seri Begawan yesterday, to witness yet another historic event to mark the Golden Jubilee 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’s Accession to the Throne.
One of the main highlights of the month-long Golden Jubilee Celebration – the Junjung Kasih and Kesyukuran ceremony and official launching of the newly-completed Taman Mahkota Jubli Emas – saw thousands of people from all walks of life flocking the capital to express their undivided loyalty and gratitude on the occasion of His Majesty’s 50-year reign, which has brought about peace and prosperity to Brunei.
His Majesty’s arrival to the Taman Haji Sir Muda Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien in the heart of the capital was greeted by the joint chairpersons of His Majesty’s Golden Jubilee Celebration Executive Committee, including the Chief of Adat Istiadat Negara and Cabinet Ministers.
Accompanying His Majesty to the event were His Royal Highness Prince Haji Al-Muhtadee Billah, the Crown Prince and Senior Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office; His Royal Highness Prince ‘Abdul Malik; His Royal Highness Prince Mohamed Bolkiah; His Royal Highness Prince Haji Sufri Bolkiah; and His Royal Highness Prince Haji Jefri Bolkiah.
Upon their arrival at the Taman, the national anthem was performed by a choir group, to the accompaniment of a band from the Prisons Department.
This was followed with a procession of 37 colourful floats and 10 decorated bicycles from various government and private agencies with each design showcasing the progress achieved by the Sultanate throughout His Majesty’s 50-year reign, and also the significance of the Golden Jubilee Celebration.
Complementing the decorated floats were vibrant cultural field performances from school students and members of different associations from all four districts, showcasing the people’s gratitude towards His Majesty, in addition to Brunei’s rich cultural heritage and racial harmony under His Majesty’s leadership.
His Majesty and members of the royal family later proceeded to Taman Mahkota Jubli Emas, where huge crowds had already gathered in designated tents representing each district, to greet His Majesty and members of the royal family.
First in the line-up of people to greet His Majesty and the royal family were those representing the government and private sectors, as well as associations from the Belait District. This was followed by the people of the Tutong District, Temburong District and later the Brunei-Muara District.
At the launching site of the Sungai Kedayan Eco-Corridor regeneration project, another milestone in the era of His Majesty’s reign under the 10th National Development Plan (RKN), His Majesty delivered a titah to officially open the park to the public, while also unveiling a marker renaming the Eco-Corridor to Taman Mahkota Jubli Emas.
Three giant balloons, along with thousands of colourful balloons were released into the capital’s skyline to mark the historic occasion, while the curtains were raised for the park’s new marker and waterfall area.
Later, His Majesty signed a plaque to mark the launch of Taman Mahkota Jubli Emas, which was accompanied by the chants of ‘Daulat Kebawah Duli Tuan Patik’, by 500 selected students.
To commemorate the occasion, the monarch also received a pesambah from His Royal Highness Prince Haji Al-Muhtadee Billah, in his capacity as Patron of the Advisory Committee for the Golden Jubilee Celebration and the Chairman of the National Development Plan Executive Committee.
Before leaving the Taman Mahkota Jubli Emas for the Tarindak d’ Seni at the Arts and Handicrafts Training Centre, His Majesty and members of the royal family socialised with the people gathered under the tents assigned to Brunei-Muara residents.
Those who had waited patiently since early morning for this moment, greeted His Majesty joyfully, while taking the opportunity to pose for photos with their beloved monarch.
The Taman Mahkota Jubli Emas project, which commenced in January last year, was supervised by His Royal Highness Prince Haji Al-Muhtadee Billah.
It spans 1.2 kilometres along the mouth of the Sungai Kedayan river, near some of the city’s famous landmarks, the Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien Mosque and Istana Darussalam, to the Edinburgh Bridge.
The multi-million dollar project is also part of the Bandar Seri Begawan Masterplan that aims to improve the people’s socio-economic conditions by providing green recreational space to promote quality and healthy lifestyle, as well as attracting more tourists and investment into the country.
The design and construction of the river wall, that is also equipped with basic amenities such as a jetty, bridge walkways, promenade information and beautiful landscaping, is hoped to instil a healthy and active lifestyle in the city, increase connectivity, promote greenery and the environment and economic growth apart from promoting the Malay Islamic Monarchy (MIB) concept which is reflected in the project design.
The project site was previously a living suburb of eight villages in the Sungai Kedayan at the mouth of the Brunei River, which have been resettled elsewhere in Kampong Ayer and on the main land.
Yesterday’s event was also a manifestation of the cohesive bond between the sovereign and the people throughout the five decades that have brought about positive impact into the country’s development, unity and also the people’s quality of life.