Azlan Othman & James Kon
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 presented the Yayasan Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Sultan’s Scholar 2022-2023 scholarship to nine students during a ceremony yesterday.
His Royal Highness Prince Haji Al-Muhtadee Billah, the Crown Prince and Senior Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office, and His Royal Highness Prince ‘Abdul Malik, Chairman of the Committee of Governors of Yayasan Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah, also attended the ceremony at Istana Nurul Iman.
State Mufti Pehin Datu Seri Maharaja Dato Paduka Seri Setia (Dr) Ustaz Haji Awang Abdul Aziz bin Juned read the Doa Selamat.
Members of the Committee of Governors of Yayasan, Yayasan Board of Directors, and the Sultan’s Scholar Steering Committee as well as principals of sixth form centres across the country also attended the event.
Later in the day, a signing ceremony was held at Yayasan Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Complex in the capital, witnessed by Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office cum Chairman of the Yayasan Board of Directors cum guest of honour Pehin Datu Lailaraja Major General (Rtd) Dato Paduka Seri Haji Awang Halbi bin Haji Mohd Yussof.
Seven students will pursue Bachelor’s Degree courses, while the remaining two, Master’s Degree courses.
Permanent Secretary (Planning, Land Use and Environment) at the Ministry of Development Dr Nor Imtihan binti Haji Abdul Razak, who is also Acting Managing Director of Yayasan, and Assistant Managing Director of Yayasan Abdullah @ Dollah bin Haji Ahad inked the agreement on behalf of Yayasan.
The scholarship recipients at the Bachelor’s degree level are Awangku Muhammad ‘Ashim ‘Afiif bin Pengiran Haji Md Zin, ‘Abdul Majid bin Haji Shazli and Nur Iwana Athilah binti Haji Mahri who are destined for Al-Azhar University in Egypt to pursue studies in Usuluddin, Syariah Islamiyyah and Lughah Arabiyyah, respectively.
Meanwhile, Patricia Sim Xiang Ru will further her studies in medicine, surgery and obstetrics at Trinity College Dublin in Ireland; Lim Jia Yi will pursue mechanical engineering at University College London in the United Kingdom (UK); Haji Mohammad Wajdi bin Haji Mohammad Ja’afar will further studies in civil engineering at the University of Edinburgh in the UK; and Elmeeza Bazillah binti Abdullah Mohammad Yasrinal Eddy Abdullah will pursue mechanical engineering at University College London, UK.
At the Master’s degree level, Muhammad Fikri bin Haji Ali will pursue a programme in operational research with data science and Nurhidayah binti Abdul Hamid will continue her psychology of mental health studies – both at the University of Edinburgh, UK.
Twenty-nine-year-old Nurhidayah told the Bulletin, “I am blessed and honoured to receive this prestigious scholarship, and I would like to extend my gratitude to His Majesty.
“Upon completion of my studies, I hope to pursue a PHD and contribute in the field of mental health, raising greater awareness nationally.”
Sim, 19, said, “I am deeply grateful and I thank the monarch for this prestigious scholarship. Through this, I hope to delve deeper into research, particularly on how supplements can prevent asthma in children.
“I want to play my part in helping realise Brunei Vision 2035 and inspire the younger generation to pursue medicine.”
Echoing the sentiment, Lim, 19, said, “I am very thankful to His Majesty for giving us this opportunity and for always being generous to the citizens of Brunei Darussalam.
“I hope to excel in my studies and acquire useful new skills so that when I return I can be a major contributor to the economy and development of the Sultanate.”
Haji Mohammad Wajdi, 20, told the Bulletin: “Alhamdulillah, I feel blessed by Allah the Almighty and I want to thank the monarch for providing me with an opportunity to better myself.
“After my studies, I hope to contribute towards national development, particularly in providing better accessibility to quality water for all.”
Muhammad Fikri said, “I feel blessed and I would like to thank His Majesty for providing me with this golden opportunity to further my studies. I will strive to excel in the Master’s Degree and upon my return, I will contribute my expertise in fields related to my operational research with data science course. It relates to a lot of sectors.”
Elmeeza Bazillah, 18, also extended gratitude to His Majesty, adding, “It was no easy feat securing this one-of-a-kind scholarship. I hope to return to Brunei with skills and experience that can be applied towards realising Brunei Vision 2035.”
Members of the Yayasan Board of Directors, the steering and working committees for Yayasan Sultan’s Scholar Scholarship Scheme, and parents also attended the signing ceremony.