Minister lauds Brunei’s literary achievements

Azlan Othman

As an independent and sovereign nation founded on the Islamic teachings of Ahli Sunnah Wal Jama’ah, Brunei Darussalam has its own socio-political entity which can be applied to the artistic and cultural fields, including literature.

This was said by Minister of Religious Affairs Pehin Udana Khatib Dato Paduka Seri Setia Ustaz Haji Awang Badaruddin bin Pengarah Dato Paduka Haji Awang Othman, during the recent Islamic Literature Evening held at the International Convention Centre (ICC) in Berakas.

The event was co-hosted by the Islamic Da’wah Centre and the Mosque Affairs Department under the Ministry of Religious Affairs (MoRA), to mark the birth anniversary of Prophet
Muhammad (pbuh).

“We are thankful that a tiny nation such as Brunei has renowned literary figures, although they may be small in number,” he said.

The minister added, “Ever since the proclamation of independence on December 31, 1983, we have been thinking about how Brunei could form its own literary language in line with its socio-political entity. Since the early 1990s, we have been presenting this concept in language and literature; and naturally, we will assume the responsibility of shedding light on
their meanings.”

Minister of Religious Affairs Pehin Udana Khatib Dato Paduka Seri Setia Ustaz Haji Awang Badaruddin bin Pengarah Dato Paduka Haji Awang Othman attended Islamic Literature Night at International Convention Centre, Berakas on Wednesday night.
Minister of Religious Affairs Pehin Udana Khatib Dato Paduka Seri Setia Ustaz Haji Awang Badaruddin bin Pengarah Dato Paduka Haji Awang Othman during the event. PHOTO: AZLAN

Regarding Syair Rakis by Al-Marhum Sultan Haji Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien Sa’adul Khairi Waddien ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Muhammad Jamalul Alam, the minister said, “It is a work of literature that denotes progressive thought, characterised by socio-political views on the nation’s future and state of affairs. The views of Al-Marhum Sultan Haji Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien Sa’adul Khairi Waddien regarding the future of the nation and the monarchy made him a visionary among the state leaders of his time.”

The minister also presided over the launch of 10 new books published by the Islamic Da’wah Centre.

The evening then continued with a video presentation of the published books and the presentation of souvenirs to the writers.

There were also poetry readings by Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office Dato Seri Setia Haji Awang Abdul Mokti bin Haji Mohd Daud, State Mufti Pehin Datu Seri Maharaja Dato Paduka Seri Setia (Dr) Ustaz Haji Awang Abdul Aziz bin Juned, Zefri Ariff Brunei, Hajah Aminah binti Haji Momin and Mohd Firdaus @ Passal bin Orang Kaya Kaya Haji Noordin.