| Haji Mohd Daud Abdul Rahman |
THIS year will mark the 31st anniversary of Brunei Darussalam’s full independence, which it achieved on January 1, 1984. Every year, the country celebrates its National Day on February 23.
One of the memorable occasions during the first National Day celebration in 1984 was the appointment of Haji Abdul Rahim bin Haji Metussin, a student from Universiti Brunei Darussalam (UBD), as the first reciter of the national pledge at the distinguished occasion.
The whole country, as well as other countries in the Asia Pacific region, witnessed the momentous event live on television. At that time, other countries were just started discovering Brunei, a small country that has managed to achieve independence peacefully.
About 30,000 guests, including those from abroad, witnessed the event at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium. Guests included Heads of State, foreign officials, Pengiran-Pengiran Cheteria, Pehin-Pehin, senior government officials, and chiefs of villages.
Over 20,000 students took part in a “Card Performance” depicting Kampong Ayer scenes, national flag and maps of countries attending the National Day. When the names of the invited heads of state were mentioned, the cards would change to show their respective national flags. The event then proceeded with the students singing patriotic songs and the national anthem.
At night, the capital Bandar Seri Begawan was illuminated with colourful lights lit on buildings. Fireworks were also displayed for the citizens to enjoy the historical event.