Brunei to mark National Day in the new normal

James Kon

Brunei Darussalam’s 37th National Day celebration will take place in a different format this year, by adhering to the standard operating procedures (SOPs) issued by the Ministry of Health (MoH).

This was confirmed by Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports Major General (Rtd) Dato Paduka Seri Haji Aminuddin Ihsan bin Pehin Orang Kaya Saiful Mulok Dato Seri Paduka Haji Abidin in his opening remarks as the Chair of the first meeting of the 37th National Day Celebration Executive Committee at the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports (MCYS) building yesterday.

The 37th National Day Celebration Executive Committee including Deputy Minister of Religious Affairs Pengiran Dato Seri Paduka Haji Bahrom bin Pengiran Haji Bahar, Deputy Minister of Education Datin Seri Paduka Dr Hajah Romaizah binti Haji Mohd Salleh, and Commissioner of Police Dato Paduka Seri Haji Mohammad Irwan bin Haji Hambali attended the meeting.

Major General (Rtd) Dato Paduka Seri Haji Aminuddin Ihsan said, “The whole world has experienced and felt the effects from changes brought about by the new normal, including our country, Brunei Darussalam, in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic which has and continues to leave a profound impact on all levels of society since the beginning of 2020.

“Nevertheless, this should not prevent citizens and residents of Brunei Darussalam to celebrate the National Day in the new norm as a manifestation of our spirit, pride and patriotism towards our sovereign ruler.

Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports Major General (Rtd) Dato Paduka Seri Haji Aminuddin Ihsan bin Pehin Orang Kaya Saiful Mulok Dato Seri Paduka Haji Abidin during the meeting. PHOTOS: JAMES KON
Pehin Kapitan Lela Diraja Dato Paduka Goh King Chin and other executive committee members at the meeting

“The celebrations will still be significant, with an effective and high quality impact towards strengthening the spirit of patriotism and unity.

“As with previous celebrations, it is important that this special day should be celebrated with joy and happiness by all communities amid the new normal, because it belongs to the citizens and residents of Brunei Darussalam.

“This is a reflection of the nation’s excellence and happiness. Brunei Darussalam has always upheld the Malay Islamic Monarchy (MIB) philosophy as the core of our identity in every situation or challenge.

“Since December 2020, the MCYS has conducted a thorough assessment with the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), the Ministry of Religious Affairs (MoRA), the Ministry of Health (MoH), the Ministry of Education (MoE), Department of Adat Istiadat Negara, the Royal Brunei Armed Forces (RBAF) and the Royal Brunei Police Force (RBPF) to obtain views and advice on the National Day celebration, to ensure that elements within the celebration will continue to highlight the spirit of patriotism and unity, as with previous celebrations, in keeping with the new normal, especially in the aspects of safety of those involved and in compliance with the guidelines issued by the Ministry of Health which are currently enforced.”

He said, “Insya Allah, this year’s celebrations will be held in accordance with the prescribed SOPs, specifically during the Grand Assembly and Doa Kesyukuran, where entrances will be established on the basis of zones to ensure the distancing of participants, invited guests and officials on duty, in accordance with their respective bubbles and on the advice of the MoH.

“The duration of the Grand Assembly will not exceed two hours, and will observe social distancing of at least one metre apart.”

With regards to the concept of the performances during the National Day parade, the minister said, “It will continue to emphasise on quality and high impact in an atmosphere filled patriotic fervour, joy and colour, displaying the unity of our nation and way of life (budaya).”

The minister also congratulated the committee members on their appointment, and looked forward to cooperation and commitment of all parties in a whole-of-nation approach, towards ensuring the joint success of the 37th National Day celebration, as a manifestation of the citizens’ patriotism and pride as a prosperous and respected nation on the world stage.

The meeting also discussed the preparation of events related to the 37th National Day celebration, including the mass Maghrib and Isyak prayers, the recitation of Surah Yaasiin and Doa Kesyukuran ceremony, the National Day Grand Assembly, the giant-sized flag hoisting and lowering ceremonies, the table flag distribution ceremony, and other side events such as the Khatam Al-Quran ceremony and the National Day Festival.