Rokiah Mahmud & Daniel Lim
Selected mosques across the country yesterday observed the commencement of the 75 times Khatam Al-Quran recitation for Mukim and Village Consultative Council (MPMK) members, school students and higher learning institutions, in conjunction with the 75th birthday celebration 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.
The ceremony began after mass Asar prayer, with a recitation of Surah Al-Fatihah by the guests of honour, followed by the recitation of Al-Quran verses from the first Juzuk.
In Brunei-Muara District, the ceremony took place at Jame’ ‘Asr Hassanil Bolkiah in Kiarong, where the guests of honour were Minister of Home Affairs Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Kerna Dato Seri Setia (Dr) Haji Awang Abu Bakar bin Haji Apong, in his capacity as Chairman of the National Committee for His Majesty’s 75th Birthday Celebration; Minister of Religious Affairs Pehin Udana Khatib Dato Paduka Seri Setia Ustaz Haji Awang Badaruddin bin Pengarah Dato Paduka Haji Awang Othman; and Minister of Education Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Hamzah bin Haji Sulaiman.
Also present were Legislative Council (LegCo) members; permanent secretaries at the Ministry of Religious Affairs (MoRA) and the Ministry of Education (MoE); the Brunei-Muara District Officer; the heads of department and senior officials under the Ministry of Home Affairs (MoHA), MoRA and MoE; mukim penghulus and village heads; and MPMK members.
In Belait District, the ceremony was held at Muhammad Jamalul Alam Mosque in Kuala Belait, where the guest of honour was Permanent Secretary (Administration, Finance and Estate) at the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports (MCYS) Pengiran Mohd Amirrizal bin Pengiran Haji Mahmud.
In Tutong District, the ceremony was held at RPN Kampong Bukit Beruang Mosque, with Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Transport and Infocommunications (MTIC) Haji Mohammad Nazri bin Haji Mohammad Yusof as the guest of honour.
In Temburong District, the ceremony was held at Utama Mohammad Salleh Mosque in Pekan Bangar, where the guest of honour was Permanent Secretary at the MoRA Haji Mohammad Rosli bin Haji Ibrahim. Also present was the deputy permanent secretary at the MoHA.
The participants of the 75 times Khatam Al-Quran recitation are nationwide MPMK members divided into groups of adult males, adult females and youth who were selected to represent their mukims and villages.
The number of participants in the programme are 1,708 of which 564 are from Brunei-Muara District, 410 from the Belait District, 400 from Tutong District and 334 from Temburong District.