“As a nation blessed with the wise leadership of 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, we cannot afford to be complacent, and must shift our thinking towards becoming more positive and proactive. We are fortunate at being able to celebrate our 37th National Day, despite the current COVID-19 pandemic.”
This was said 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 an interview with the Bulletin yesterday, following the Grand Assembly and Parade for the National Day celebration.
“Unlike previous years where the celebrations involved about 40,000 participants from all walks of life, this year’s festivities featured a scaled-down participation of 4,000 people, in adherence to the guidelines and standard operating procedures (SOPs) as outlined by the Ministry of Health (MoH),” he said.
“Aside from limiting the participants, the spectators and those taking part in the parade were required to scan their BruHealth QR codes, undergo body temperature checks, use hand sanitiser and observe social distancing.”
He continued, “These were among the efforts undertaken by the government in addressing and managing the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the new norm did not prevent the citizens and residents from contributing to the success of this year’s celebrations.
“To ensure compliance with the guidelines, the participants in the parade and field performances held rehearsals in their locations. Some events took less than a month to practise. We only had a full-dress rehearsal a few days before the actual National Day celebration.”
Referring to this year’s theme of Menjayakan Wawasan Negara, the minister said, “It’s only 14 years away, which is not far off, with many things needing to be formulated and accomplished.
“Therefore, we should not only examine certain elements of the technology explosion caused by the Industrial Revolution 4.0, but all aspects of it, in supporting the government’s initiatives and planning.
“For the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports (MCYS), the Strategic Plan of 2020-2024 serves as a manifestation of our ministry steering towards the goals of Brunei Vision 2035 which revolve around the concept of ‘Excellent Brunei’, culture, community, sports and youth.”
“With such a strategic plan, our ministry wishes to ensure that no community will be left out; and will implement all the goals and missions as one team, by practising a whole-of-nation and whole-of-government, as well as solidarity and teamwork,” he said.