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    National Day celebration to follow strict SOPs

    Rokiah Mahmud

    Around 3,800 participants are set to take part in a celebration to mark the 38th National Day at Taman Haji Sir Muda Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien in the capital.

    This was said by Permanent Secretary (Strategy and Policy Management) at the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports (MCYS) Pengiran Haji Mohd Hasnan bin Pengiran Haji Ali Hassan as Co-Secretary of the Executive Committee of the 38th National Day celebration during a press conference at Sarmayuda Hall at the Language and Literature Bureau (DBP) yesterday.

    He said 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 grace several events including the Doa Kesyukuran ceremony, mass Maghrib and Isyak prayers, recitation of Surah Yaasiin and Doa Kesyukuran at Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien Mosque and the Grand Assembly and Parade at Taman Haji Sir Muda Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien.

    The permanent secretary said the 3,800 participants in the celebration will comprise heads of parade, national security agencies, Bestari community, public and private sectors, civil movements, cyclists, inline skaters and frontliners.

    This year’s performance, titled ‘Berat Sama Dipikul, Ringan Sama Dijinjing’, will showcase patriotic songs performed by 2,500 participants, 2,000 of which will also take part in the parade.

    File photo shows the national day celebration on February 23, 2021. PHOTO: BAHYIAH BAKIR

    Standard operating procedures (SOPs) will be followed in accordance to Ministry of Health’s (MoH) advice. Among them are: entry only for those aged 12 and above; no entry for those showing flu-like symptoms; full vaccination required for attendees, preferably boosted; only those with green or yellow codes are allowed entry; body temperature checks; antigen rapid test (ART) screening; attendees required to bring identity cards for identification; wearing face masks at all times; frequent handwashing or sanitising; and physical distancing.

    The Doa Kesyukuran ceremony, mass Maghrib and Isyak prayers as well as the recitation of Surah Yaasiin and Doa Kesyukuran will be held on February 22 starting at 5.45pm with Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien Mosque as the focal point in Brunei-Muara District.

    Focal points in other districts will be Hassanal Bolkiah Mosque in Pekan Tutong, Mohammad Jamalul Alam Mosque in Kuala Belait and Utama Mohammad Salleh Mosque in Pekan Bangar.

    The SOPs for the ceremony is similar to Friday prayers such as entry only for green or yellow BruHealth codes; ablution at home before going to the mosques; wearing face masks; and bringing own prayer mats.

    Attendees of the event at Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien Mosque are also required to perform the ART testing and be fully-vaccinated.

    The permanent secretary said this year’s celebration remains the same as last year’s. ‘Menjayakan Wawasan Negara’ is still relevant as the Sultanate is aiming to realise Brunei Vision 2035.

    Pengiran Haji Mohd Hasnan said, “With the nation being in the Early Endemic Phase, it is time we accept the new normal and move on to reducing disruption to our quality of life, which is choosing the right path to Allah the Almighty and not allowing COVID-19 to stop us from achieving our goals.

    “This year’s celebration logo is in the shape of a flower signifying national spirit, unity and cooperation of the people in the development of the nation. Brunei Darussalam will remain a sovereign and independent country with adherence to the Malay Islamic Monarchy philosophy.”

    The logo was created by Awangku Mohammad Hazeq bin Pengiran Abdul Aziz, who won the logo competition for the national day celebration.

    The permanent secretary called on Brunei citizens and residents to celebrate together by hoisting the national flags at their residences, offices and businesses as well as putting up decorative lights until February 25. The press conference concluded with a prize presentation to Awangku Mohammad Hazeq and the handover of national day posters to representatives of the ministries.

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