Patriotic fervour was evident as thousands converged on Bandar Seri Begawan early yesterday morning, to celebrate Brunei Darussalam’s 36th National Day.
With the arrival 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 atmosphere at the Taman Haji Sir Muda Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien was infused with excitement, colour and vibrant energy.
His Royal Highness Prince Haji Al-Muhtadee Billah, the Crown Prince and Senior Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office; His Royal Highness Prince ‘Abdul Malik; His Royal Highness Prince ‘Abdul Wakeel; His Royal Highness Prince Mohamed Bolkiah; His Royal Highness Prince Haji Sufri Bolkiah; and His Royal Highness Prince Haji Jefri Bolkiah also attended.
Upon arrival, His Majesty and members of the royal family were greeted by Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports Major General (Rtd) Dato Paduka Seri Awang Haji Aminuddin Ihsan bin Pehin Orang Kaya Saiful Mulok Dato Seri Paduka Haji Abidin, in his capacity as the Chairman of the 36th National Day Celebration Executive Committee, as well as other members of the Executive Committee.
The royal entourage was also greeted by a massive crowd of spectators. Around 33,000 teams for the National Day Parade, comprising on-field performers, parade participants and students, lined along the shoulder of the main road to greet the royal family.
His Majesty consented to inspect a royal guard of honour mounted by personnel from the Royal Brunei Armed Forces (RBAF) and the Royal Brunei Police Force (RBPF).
Her Royal Highness Princess ‘Azemah Ni’matul Bolkiah, Her Royal Highness Princess Fadzilah Lubabul Bolkiah and Yang Amat Mulia Pengiran Muda Bahar were also involved in the march-past, leading the Brunei athletes of Southeast Asian (SEA) Games 2019.
The National Day theme ‘Accomplishing the National Vision’ focussed on providing citizens and residents of Brunei Darussalam with a readiness to respond to the challenges of the Industrial Revolution 4.0 (IR 4.0) and to embrace the ideas of sustainable development; to ensure that the nation produces educated, skilled and successful citizens; a dynamic and resilient economy, as well as a high quality of life, while adhering to the Malay Islamic Monarchy (MIB) philosophy; and defining Brunei as a Zikir Nation.
The grand assembly witnessed a march-past of 15 clusters incorporating 161 teams and 26,296 participants, which began with a team of 36 flag-bearers from the Training Institute RBAF led by 1225 Lt Muhamad Zulfadli Hayat bin Shamsul Hayat, carrying a giant-sized national flag to illustrate the nation’s sovereignty and the people’s spirit of independence, love, loyalty and pledge towards the nation.
Following were 200 personnel from the Training Institute RBAF and RBPF Training Institute, carrying national flags and the 36th National Day logo, led by 1040 Lt Madya Mohd Adib Faliq bin Mohamad.
Next was the oath-reading team made up of 36 participants from government ministries and departments, district representatives, uniformed groups, university students, differently abled persons and the private sector, led by Muhammad Fatin Abdul Rahman bin Kifli from the Ministry of Education (MoE), in reflecting the potential of youth who are able to support and achieve Brunei Vision 2035 in the fields of education, religion, law, human resources, development and infrastructure, and trade and economy.
The march-past teams were divided into national security, the Bestari community, civil services, socio-economy, post-secondary education, secondary education, private education, mosque Takmir committee groups, professional organisations, youth movements, women’s associations, sports associations and general associations, the general public, and the generation with a vision team.
The main highlights of the 36th National Day celebration were the on-field performances by 7,336 participants under the theme ‘Accomplishing the National Vision’. The participants were from various sectors and national development agencies, including youth represented by students from secondary, post-secondary schools, colleges and higher education institutions.
Divided into two segments – ‘Alun Genderang’ and ‘Accomplishing the National Vision’ – the performances showcased the efforts to build a nation by assessing the resilient aspects of development and bringing the younger generation in preparation of the country’s defence, while at the same time responding to the challenges of advancements in technology, communication and the Industrial Revolution 4.0.
The performances were followed with a recitation of the National Day oath led by Muhammad Fatin Abdul Rahman, and the resounding call of Allahu Akbar led by Pengiran Ahmad Faris Ramadhani bin Pengiran Haji Sellahhuddin from the Mosque Affairs Department of the Ministry of Religious Affairs (MoRA).
Prior to leaving the venue, His Majesty met the participants and acknowledged their efforts in ensuring the success of the National Day celebration.