Students express gratitude, share experiences

Lyna Mohamad

Awangku Mohd Amiruddin bin Pengiran Haji Md Hardy is one of the grateful Bruneian students who arrived home after waiting for the arrangement of a special flight by the Government 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.

A graduate in Aircraft Maintenance Engineering from the University of South Wales, Awangku Mohd Amiruddin also expressed gratitude to Allah the Almighty and relief that the virus outbreak happened just as he was finishing his final year and was able to pass. He is happy that his family is close by and that he will be seeing them after completing his self-isolation.

On the process of their return, he noted that it went smoothly and they communicated with the government representatives who were very informative and made instructions quite clear on what to do and where to be through WhatsApp.

For the arrival process, they were sent group by group through immigration.

They were sent by buses to their hotels while observing social distancing and donning PPE (masks). “Alhamdulillah I would like to express my gratitude to the people involved in bringing us back home to Brunei. I would also like to say thank you to His Majesty for making this possible for students and Bruneians abroad.”

Jane Tey Xin Ying, a Masters student in Immunology from the University of Glasgow, who is also graduating this year, shared that before the lockdown in the UK, the Brunei Students’ Union (BSU) added everyone to regional group chats managed by regional directors who gave instructions and looked after their well-being.

ABOVE & BELOW: Awangku Mohd Amiruddin bin Pengiran Haji Md Hardy; Jane Tey Xin Ying; Daneial Michael Shane Sitai Kehoe; and Sophie Sarah

The announcement of the special flight was made a month ago and those interested were asked to send their details adding that her regional manager was patient and got back to them promptly. They got their tickets around two weeks before the flight.

A permanent resident and a self-funded student, Jane noted that she is grateful to His Majesty and the government for their dedication and prompt action.

“Although I was overseas for the bulk of it, I was reading the news and felt extremely proud of how well our country managed the pandemic. Thank you so much!”

Daneial Michael Shane Sitai Kehoe, a first year student in Interior Architecture and Design at Sheffield Hallam University, returned home along with his sister and are currently on self-isolation at The Empire Brunei.

“I’m very thankful to the Brunei Consulate in London, the student union and the government on the organisation of the chartered flights.”

His sister Sophie Sarah, a second year BA (Hons) student in Illustration at Cardiff Metropolitan University, felt relieved and grateful for the Brunei Government that arranged for her and her brother as well as others to return back home.

Reaching Brunei soil, she could truly see Brunei’s great diligence during the COVID-19 situation, Sarah said. “Upon returning, I could feel the kindness and welcome arms of home that I much missed. Brunei is my home and I couldn’t be more grateful to be able to return. Thank you to all who helped during this process.”