Frontliners among 3,800 to take part in N-Day parade

Hakim Hayat

Around 3,800 people will take part in the scaled-down 37th National Day Parade at the Taman Haji Sir Muda Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien in the capital on February 23, including the frontliners fighting the COVID-19 epidemic in Brunei.

This was announced by Permanent Secretary (Community and Culture) at the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports (MCYS) Hajah Nor Ashikin binti Haji Johari, who is also Executive Committee of the 37th National Day Celebration Secretary during a press conference at the Language and Literature Bureau (DBP) in Old Airport, Berakas, yesterday.

During the press conference, she revealed several main and side-line activities, as well as preparations for one of the most anticipated dates in Brunei’s calendar, in celebration of its independence since 1984.

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 will join the people in the main events – the Surah Yaasiin Recitation and Thanksgiving Ceremony, together with the mass Maghrib and Isyak Prayers on the eve of February 23, as well as the Grand Parade in the capital.

The Grand Parade in capital, which usually features over 20,000 participants, will be scaled down this year, as a precautionary measure amid the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the permanent secretary.

She said 121 teams comprising 2,600 people, expected to take part in the march-past are divided into groups representing the March Leader, National Security, Public and Private Sector, Education, Frontliners, Smart Society, and Public Movement.

A performance based on the theme, ‘Menjayakan Wawasan Negara’, will be put up by 1,200 people representing various national development agencies including public servants, the private sector, associations, students, the youth and children.

Permanent Secretary (Community and Culture) at the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports (MCYS) Hajah Nor Ashikin binti Haji Johari. PHOTOS: MUIZ MATDANI
Permanent Secretary (Community and Culture) at the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports Hajah Nor Ashikin binti Haji Johari presents the prize to winner of logo competition Siti Kamilah binti Haji Mohd Azrae.

Rehearsals for the Grand Parade have been taking place in schools and sports complexes, including the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium. The full-dress rehearsal will be held on February 17, from 9am at the Taman Haji Sir Muda Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien in the capital.

On the eve of February 23, the religious event will be held simultaneously at all mosques, suraus and religious halls in the country, with the main focal points at the ‘Omar Ali Saifuddien Mosque for the Brunei-Muara District, the Hassanal Bolkiah Mosque for the Tutong District, the Mohammad Jamalul Alam Mosque for the Belait District, and the Utama Mohammad Salleh Mosque for the Temburong District.

The permanent secretary said the distribution of mini-flags and the flag-waving enlivening programme will be held in selected schools in all four districts on February 15.

Meanwhile, the Giant-sized Flag Hoisting Ceremony, will be held on February 16, at the Yayasan Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Complex in the capital, while the ceremony to lower the giant -sized flag will be held on February 25.

Several celebrations and side-activities will be organised in conjunction with the 37th National Day, including a 37 Times Khatam Al-Quran Ceremony on March 4, which will be held simultaneously at selected mosques in all districts.

The permanent secretary said this year’s theme preserved from last year’s celebration, maintains the focus of accomplishing the Brunei Vision in 2035.

“It emphasises that despite the current global situation with the COVID-19 pandemic hampering development and safety, the situation has taught us to live in the new normal towards achieving the Brunei Vision 2035 as a roadmap to shape the direction for our development,” she said.

She said this year’s National Day celebration logo is a blooming flower that connotes Brunei as a country with people who are resilient, educated, skilled and successful, with a good quality of life and a dynamic and robust economy in accomplishing the national vision.

“The shape depicts the ‘Whole-of-Nation’ approach to achieve a developed Brunei,” she added.

The logo was designed by Siti Kamilah binti Haji Mohd Azrae, a lecturer at the Kolej International Graduate Studies College (KIGS), who won the logo design competition this year.

Siti Kamilah also received her prize during yesterday’s press conference, while posters for the 37th National Day Celebration were distributed.

The Executive Committee of the 37th National Day Celebration urges the people and residents to enliven the celebration by attending the religious events and the Grand Parade in the capital, to express their pride and spirit as an independent nation.

However, people are reminded of their social responsibilities by taking precautionary measures, especially in adhering to health and hygiene regulations. Those who are feeling unwell are not encouraged to take part in any of the events.