His Royal Highness Prince Haji Al-Muhtadee Billah ibni His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah, the Crown Prince and Senior Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office yesterday attended the Knowledge Convention Premier Forum at Balai Khazanah Islam Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah. Also in attendance was His Royal Highness Prince ‘Abdul Malik.
His Royal Highness was greeted upon arrival by Minister of Religious Affairs Pehin Udana Khatib Dato Paduka Seri Setia Ustaz Haji Awang Badaruddin bin Pengarah Dato Paduka Haji Awang Othman, Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office Dato Seri Setia Haji Awang Abdul Mokti bin Haji Mohd Daud, Minister of Education Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Hamzah bin Haji Sulaiman, Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports Major General (Rtd) Dato Paduka Seri Awang Haji Aminuddin Ihsan bin Pehin Orang Kaya Saiful Mulok Dato Seri Paduka Haji Abidin as co-chairmen of the Steering Committee of Knowledge Convention 2019; Acting Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office and Minister of Finance and Economy II Dato Seri Paduka Awang Haji Ahmaddin bin Haji Abdul Rahman; and State Mufti Pehin Datu Seri Maharaja Dato Paduka Seri Setia (Dr) Ustaz Haji Awang Abdul Aziz bin Juned as Adviser of the Steering Committee of Knowledge Convention 2019.
To bless the ceremony, Surah Al-Fatihah was read by Chief Syar’ie Judge Pehin Orang Kaya Paduka Seri Utama Dato Paduka Seri Setia Haji Awang Salim bin Haji Besar.
Deputy Minister of Religious Affairs Pengiran Dato Seri Paduka Haji Bahrom bin Pengiran Haji Bahar as Chairperson of the Working Committee of the Premier Forum in his welcoming speech said the Knowledge Convention 2019 is held to mark the 73rd birthday celebration 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.
The theme of the premier forum read Manuskrip Islam Mercu Tanda Ketamadunan Umat, which is also the theme for Knowledge Convention 2019.
Pengiran Dato Seri Paduka Haji Bahrom added the Islamic manuscript is a legacy of intellectual treasure left by scholars of ancient Islam and it reflects the civilisation of a nation and society. In the context of the Malay Archipelago, Malay manuscripts provide an understanding of the work of handwriting using the Malay version of the Jawi script generated around the 16th Century up to 19th Century.
To date, it is estimated there are more than 15,000 manuscripts relating to Malay civilisation and of various types of collections stored in various repositories and libraries around the world. The collection is not only available in the Malay Archipelago, but is also saved and preserved in several libraries around the world, including in Europe, the United States (US) and the Middle East.
Pengiran Dato Seri Paduka Haji Bahrom also said the study of these manuscripts, particularly Islam and Malay manuscripts must be continued by the next generation to maintain the heritage of clerics and scholars and reawaken their works lost to history and civilisation if not researched and published.
Panellists at the forum comprised Assistant State Mufti at the State Mufti’s Office Dato Seri Setia Dr Haji Mazanan bin Haji Yusof; Director of Sultan Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien Centre for Islamic Studies, Universiti Brunei Darussalam Associate Professor Ampuan Dr Haji Brahim bin Ampuan Haji Tengah; Expert Staff of the Minister of the Ministry of Religious Affairs, Republic of Indonesia for Communication and Information Management Professor Dr Oman Fathurahman; and Literature Professor from Universiti Sains Malaysia Professor Dr Jelani Harun.
The moderator of the discussion was Associate Professor at the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences of Universiti Brunei Darussalam Associate Professor Dr Haji Awang Asbol bin Haji Mail.
They shared information and knowledge related to the importance of Islamic manuscripts in the development and expansion of Islamic propagation that has enabled us to give birth to a glorious civilisation.
The panel members are experts from local and foreign government agencies and institutions of higher learning who are directly involved in this manuscript.