His Majesty attends historian’s funeral

Lyna Mohamad

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 consented to attend the funeral of late Pehin Jawatan Dalam Seri Maharaja Dato Seri Utama (Dr) Haji Awang Mohd Jamil Al-Sufri bin Begawan Pehin Udana Khatib Dato Seri Paduka Haji Awang Umar in Kampong Mabohai.

Late Pehin Dato Seri Utama (Dr) Haji Awang Mohd Jamil Al-Sufri who passed away at around 7am yesterday at Raja Isteri Pengiran Anak Saleha (RIPAS) Hospital at the age of 99.

A national historian who spoke English, Japanese and Arabic, the late Pehin Dato Seri Utama (Dr) Haji Awang Mohd Jamil al-Sufri was born on December 10, 1921 at Kampong Sungai Kedayan in the capital.

His academic journey began at the Pekan Brunei Malay School from 1928 to 1935, after which he pursued his studies abroad at Sultan Idris Teacher Training College in Tanjong Malim from 1939-1941 and 1947 to 1948, before receiving education at the Kani Yosezyo Training Centre in Kuching, Sarawak from 1944 to 1945.

From 1950 to 1951, he studied at the Serdang College of Agriculture before attending City of Worchester Teachers College in the United Kingdom from 1956 to 1957.

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 yesterday morning attended the funeral of late Pehin Jawatan Dalam Seri Maharaja Dato Seri Utama (Dr) Haji Awang Mohd Jamil Al-Sufri bin Begawan Pehin Udana Khatib Dato Seri Paduka Haji Awang Umar. The prominent national figure was known for his contribution in the fields of education, culture, literature, history and religion.
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 during the funeral. PHOTO: INFOFOTO

His working career began as a teacher from (1939-1947), Assistant Headmaster (1948-1950), Manager of School Gardening (1951-1955), Advisor of Teaching Methods (1957-1960), Director of the Brunei Language Board (1961- 1964), Director of the Language and Literature Bureau (1965-1976), Advisor to the Language and Literature Bureau (1977-1981) and Chairman of the Education Council (1983).

He was also a member of the Brunei Legislative Council from 1959 to 1963, where among the prominent positions he held was as member of the Privy Council, Council of Succession, Religious Council and Malay Islamic Monarchy (MIB) Supreme Council.

He held the post as Principal of the Brunei History Centre from 1982 up to his demise.

By the consent of His Majesty’s titah, the late Pehin Dato Seri Utama (Dr) Haji Awang Mohd Jamil Al-Sufri was conferred with the Manteri 32 title that carries the title ‘Yang Dimuliakan Pehin Orang Kaya Amar Pahlawan’ on March 14, 1968; and later Manteri 4 that carries the title ‘Yang Dimuliakan Pehin Jawatan Dalam Seri Maharaja’ on August 25, 1992.

During his lifetime he was also conferred with state titles and honorary medals such as the Most Esteemed Family Order Seri Utama (DK) that carries the title Dato Seri Utama (1970), the Most Distinguished Order of Paduka Seri Laila Jasa (DSLJ- 2nd Class) that carries the title Dato Seri Laila Jasa (1967) and the Most Honourable Order of Seri Paduka Mahkota Brunei (DPMB-2nd Class) that carries the title Dato Paduka (1965).

He was awarded with Omar Ali Saifuddin Medal (POAS), Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah Medal (PHBS), Pingat Bakti Laila Khas (PBLI), Meritorious Service Medal (PJK) and Long Service Medal (PKL).

He was also awarded the Honorary Doctorate in Literature from the American Institute of Science Indiana, United States (1967), Honorary Doctorate in Correspondence from Universiti Brunei Darussalam and Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia; Anugerah Hang Tuah Dunia Melayu Islam (DDM); Jasawan Ugama/Bakti Hijrah (1430/2008), Pingat Guru Berjasa (1998); 2nd ASEAN Culture Award in the field of correspondence from ASEAN-COCI (1990); Tokoh Guru Berbakti (1992), Penulis Berjasa (1993),and Pemikir Budaya (1997).

On October 12, 2019, His Majesty consented to award him with Honorary Professor at the Knowledge Convention 2019.

He was also very active in writing about history, literature, culture and education from 1950 onwards, as well as feature articles in several magazines such as Ikhtisar Budaya, Bahana Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka, Sarawak Gazette, The Brunei Museum Journal, Brunei di Tengah-Tengah Nusantara, Jurnal Darussalam and Pusaka.

He was involved in writing poetry and an anthology of poems in the 1960s, in addition to presenting several working papers at seminars, forums, symposiums and courses in the fields of history, language, culture and education, hosted by local and overseas organisations.