| Azaraimy HH |
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 paid his last respects to Yang Amat Mulia Pengiran Setia Negara Pengiran (Dr) Haji Mohd Yusuf bin Pengiran Haji Abdul Rahim, who passed away peacefully at the age of 92 yesterday at his home ‘Teratak Yura’ in Kampong Sengkarai, Tutong.
His Majesty and other state dignitaries performed the funeral rites led by the State Mufti, Pehin Datu Seri Maharaja Dato Paduka Seri Setia (Dr) Ustaz Haji Awang Abdul Aziz bin Juned.
Yang Amat Mulia Pengiran Setia Negara Pengiran (Dr) Haji Mohd Yusuf, a former chief minister of Brunei Darussalam, passed away at 9.37am.
He was laid to rest at the Sengkarai Muslim Cemetery, Tutong.
Born on May 2, 1923, at Kampong Kandang, Tutong, he leaves behind seven sons, four daughters, 38 grandchildren and 22 great grandchildren. Three other children are deceased.
The former chief minister was an accomplished writer and poet, who wrote the lyrics to the country’s national anthem.
With the consent of His Majesty, he was conferred the ‘Yang Amat Mulia Pengiran Jaya Negara’ status on January 12, 1968. On May 16 that year, he was elevated to the rank of ‘Yang Amat Mulia Pengiran Setia Negara’.
His long list of state decorations and honorary titles include: DK (Laila Utama) in 1968; SPMB in 1963; DSND in 1960; SMB in 1958; Order of the Raising Sun (from Emperor Hirohito) in 1984; CBE in 1968; POAS in 1962; PHBS in 1970; PBLI in 2008; PJK in 1959; PKL in 1959; Pingat Perjuangan in 1963; and Pingat Puspa in 1968.
A loyal Bruneian, he was the last surviving member of Brunei Constitutional Committee during the formation of the country’s first written constitution.
He continued to carry out his state duties faithfully. At the age of 92, his last stately post was as State Dignitary Representative of the Legislative Council.
In the private sector, he was the former deputy chairman of QAF Brunei Sdn Bhd that owns Brunei Press Sdn Bhd and played a leading role towards the establishment of Media Permata.
He was the last surviving member of the seven member Brunei Constitution Committee (Tujuh Serangkai) sent by Al-Marhum Sultan Haji Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien Sa’adul Khairi Waddien ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Muhammad Jamalul Alam, the late father of His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah, Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam, to every Brunei Mukims during the process of constitutional reforms in Brunei.
Yang Amat Mulia Pengiran Setia Negara Pengiran (Dr) Haji Mohd Yusuf was awarded an Honorary Doctorate in Law by the International Academy of Vancouver, in 1961, for his contributions and active involvement in public administration. He also attended Hiroshima University, in 1945.
He survived the 1945 atomic bombings in Japan; and in 2013, he was conferred with an honorary doctorate from Hiroshima University for his role in promoting peace and goodwill between Japan and Brunei Darussalam.
Shortly after Brunei’s independence, the government of Japan conferred Yang Amat Mulia Pengiran Setia Negara Pengiran (Dr) Haji Mohd Yusuf with the First Class Order of the Rising Sun Award in 1985, one of the highest honours bestowed by Emperor Hirohito.
Yang Amat Mulia Pengiran Setia Negara Pengiran (Dr) Haji Mohd Yusuf was also a renowned figure in Brunei’s literary scene. He was an avid writer under the pen name of ‘Yura Halim’.
In his lifetime, he received several literary awards including the SEA Write Award, Sultan Haji Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien Education Award, Honorary Doctorate from Universiti Brunei Darussalam, and the Brunei Darussalam Religious Meritorious Service Awards.
Yang Amat Mulia Pengiran Setia Negara Pengiran (Dr) Haji Mohd Yusuf received his early education at the Bukit Bendera Malay School in Tutong. He trained as a teacher at the Sultan Idris Teachers College in Tanjong Malim, Perak; and furthered his studies at Hiroshima University in Japan, and at the South Devon Imperial College in Devonshire.
Yang Amat Mulia Pengiran Setia Negara Pengiran (Dr) Haji Mohd Yusuf took up several careers in his lifetime: teacher trainer, assistant school headmaster, assistant information officer, Information Officer, deputy state secretary, state secretary, chief minister, High Commissioner of Brunei to Malaysia, and the Brunei Ambassador to Japan.
He was a member of the Privy Council and Council of Adat Istiadat.
His grandchildren, Pengiran Yura Sukma binti Pengiran Haji Tajuddin and Dayangku Yura Seri Kamalawati binti Pengiran Syed Issa, recalled how their grandfather liked to talk of his wartime experiences, to make them understand that nothing is more precious than peace and freedom.
They also recalled that their grandfather preferred to admonish them gently as a more effective way of discipline and correction. In addition, he liked doing things on his own, without asking help from others.
Yang Amat Mulia Pengiran Setia Negara Pengiran (Dr) Haji Mohd Yusuf was a loyal Bruneian to the end, managing to attend the recent Legislative Council sessions as the State Dignitary Representative of the Legislative Council, despite his old age.
Yang Amat Mulia Pengiran Setia Negara Pengiran (Dr) Haji Mohd Yusuf was an extraordinary man of many talents. The name ‘Yura’, that his children and grandchildren bear, is a legacy of the remarkable life and career that he led.