Wednesday, February 21, 2024
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Brunei Town

Adding new colours to the China-Brunei friendship

James Kon

Students from Seri Mulia Sarjana School yesterday emerged as the top prize winners of the third Brunei primary school students’ Painting Competition themed ‘Friendship between China and Brunei – Commemorate the 30th Anniversary of the Establishment of Diplomatic Relations between China and Brunei’, as 2021 marked 30 years of diplomatic ties between the two countries.

The announcement of the winners was made through a virtual award ceremony yesterday with Minister of Education Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Hamzah bin Haji Sulaiman as the guest of honour.

The winners of the top prizes were Tiong Ing Hoe and Alya Hafizzah Az Zahra binti Saparuddin.

The three first prize winners were Eva Maria Jinu of Chung Hua Middle School Kuala Belait (KB), Kevin Ong Jun Wei of Chung Hwa School Tutong and Za’em Hadi bin Muhammad Morni from Putat Primary School.

Meanwhile, the five second-prize winners were Nur Um’mi Aziqah binti Haji Abdul Zamri of Orang Kaya Besar Imas Primary School in Subok; Tabitha Ghiza Armina and Nelson Lau Hui Hoe from Chung Hua Middle School KB; Chloe Joy Kon Siau Ying from Pengiran Pekerma Setia Diraja Sahibul (Bandar) Primary School; and Nur Firzanah Uzma binti Muhammad Affinde of Chung Ching Middle School Seria.

In his remarks, the minister noted that the painting competition was a great opportunity for students to showcase their artistic talents as they interpreted and depicted the friendship between the two countries.

“I am proud that this year we have yet another group of talented children in this painting competition. I am impressed at how the theme of friendship has led our students – or young artists – to run free with their imagination.

Minister of Education Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Hamzah bin Haji Sulaiman giving his remarks
Chinese Ambassador to Brunei Darussalam Yu Hong giving her welcoming speech
A painting by Alya Hafizzah Az Zahra binti Saparuddin (Seri Mulia Sarjana School)
A painting by Tiong Ing Hoe (Seri Mulia Sarjana School)

“Each painting displayed here today presents a unique perspective on the friendship between China and Brunei. Working under the same theme, each young artist interprets it differently and gives each piece its own individuality,” he added.

Expanding on the theme, Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Hamzah highlighted the strong relationship in various fields between Brunei Darussalam and China.

“In these 30 years, our two countries have made great strides in various sectors. In the field of education, recent years have seen our participation in the ASEAN-China Vocational Education Summit Forum as well as signing of memorandums of understanding between our countries.

“Whilst our bilateral cooperation continues to make a steady pace in matters of academia and research in particular, events such as this painting competition also enhance our cooperation in a meaningful way,” he added.

Chinese Ambassador to Brunei Darussalam Yu Hong agreed with this sentiment in her welcoming speech.

“2021 marked the 30th anniversary of China-Brunei diplomatic ties, making it the prime theme for the competition, which helps to enhance the awareness and appreciation of the China-Brunei friendship in the younger generation.”

She said that the 30 years have seen joint efforts from both countries to consolidate mutual political trust, with thriving practical co-operation in various fields. Facing the COVID-19 pandemic, for example, China took the lead in donating vaccines to Brunei and provided technical support to Brunei’s fight against the pandemic.

Even in the case of this event, the ambassador noted, “I still remember when I first discussed this idea with Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Hamzah. He immediately extended his support, which was the source of my determination and confidence.”

She further noted that the competition, which was jointly organised by the Chinese Embassy in Brunei Darussalam and the Ministry of Education (MoE), “was accomplished by teachers and students who overcame the difficulties brought about by the pandemic. From over 80 entries from 14 schools, 30 paintings were selected for prizes”.

Looking forward, the ambassador revealed that “the embassy hopes to hold the fourth Painting Competition jointly with the MoE, and sincerely hopes to receive continued support and participation from the schools and students to add new colours to China-Brunei friendship”.