| Lyna Mohamad |
THE Brunei Darussalam Hokkien Association hosted a Chinese New Year dinner reception at the Plenary Hall of the International Convention Centre (ICC) in Berakas on Tuesday.
Permanent Secretary (Municipal and District) at the Ministry of Home Affairs Salminan bin Haji Burut was the guest of honour.
The ceremony began with the welcoming remarks by Head of Education and Culture of Brunei Darussalam Hokkien Association Datin Ti Li Chew and speeches by Chairman of the Working Committee Hong Kim Seng and Chairman of Brunei Darussalam Hokkien Association Lim Han Chiong.
Lim said since the association’s establishment 20 years ago, it has been active in national events such as 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’s birthday and National Day celebrations.
The association also contributed to the Brunei-Muara Orphans Fund and Pusat Ehsan Al-Ameerah Al-Hajjah Maryam, providing financial aid to underprivileged students and organising blood donation drives as well as providing financial assistance for funerals of the ethnic Chinese community.
It has also been participating in friendly and trade activities organised locally and abroad such as in Malaysia, Singapore and China, hosted briefings and sharing sessions with the Islamic Da’wah Centre, organising lion dances, singing contests, Mid-Autumn Festivals and basketball tournaments as well as greeting His Majesty and members of the royal family during Hari Raya Aidilfitri open house at the Istana Nurul Iman.
The association, with more than 1,000 members, collaborated with the Radio Television Brunei (RTB) and the Secretariat Office of Malay Islamic Monarchy (MIB) Council in organising a Malay Language speech competition titled Negaraku Brunei Darussalam last November held in conjunction with the 20th anniversary of the association.
The success of this event, he added, is evidence of the unity and solidarity of the Brunei community regardless of race, religion and social backgrounds.
One of the advantages of this competition is that it encouraged the usage of Malay Language and also the understanding of MIB to strengthen the patriotic spirit of the ethnic Chinese community in the country.
Two winners of the competition, Ardan Lee Hao and Yong Shan Ren, performed their winning speeches at the celebration that night.
The ceremony also saw the awarding of scholarships to top students who are children of association members, stage performances and a lucky draw.