| Lyna Mohamad |
A FIRST time participant in the National Day parade, Hajah Siti Zuraihah binti Haji Sulaiman from the Information Department of the Prime Minister’s Office described the parade as amazing.
She said, “Participating in the National Day parade is something that I have always wanted to do, and being given the chance to do so this year is a can’t-miss opportunity.
“Despite having to do so under bad weather, particularly during this dry season, it did not deter their (participants) spirit. In fact, everyone did their best and gave great teamwork in doing the training well.”
Asked what patriotism is to her, she noted that it is about giving back to the nation for what the country and Government 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, has given to the subjects.
“What do we need to give for the building of our beloved nation? Obviously to help the country’s development,” she said. “It is also our responsibility to continuously uphold the nation’s sovereignty.”
As for the Othman siblings, this year’s celebration was particularly special as four of them were involved in yesterday’s event, making them feel proud of being Bruneians and they were excited to show their patriotism just like other participants.
“Patriotism is a feeling of belonging to our beloved country, Brunei Darussalam, no matter wherever we are, how the conditions are; protecting its good name and praying to Allah the Almighty for protection, peacefulness and other blessings till the end of time, Insya Allah,” said the eldest sibling, Major (Rtd) Idris bin Orang Kaya Maha Bijaya Haji Othman, a former Officer Commanding Brunei Cadet Force of the Royal Brunei Armed Forces (RBAF).
Touching on this year’s theme, he said Vision 2035 is “everybody’s business, besides the government, be it the citizens or residents within or outside the country”.
He added that the youth’s involvement in national events, particularly the National Day, is important as they must be instilled with patriotism at the earliest age, both at home and school, and be taught to appreciate the blessings that Allah the Almighty has given such as the tranquility, a caring monarch, good government and so forth, which some other countries lack.
Active participant Syazana Nur Zul ‘Alina Kee binti Abdullah, who represented the Brunei-Muara District Office, was also happy and took pride in once again being able to join in this year’s parade.
She said the National Day’s atmosphere at Taman Haji Sir Muda Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien still has that strong spirit of patriotism without worrying about the unpredictable weather.
A reserve army personnel at the Royal Brunei Malay Regiment Reserve Unit, Zahari bin Haji Jaya, felt great to be back after not being active for a while, and said that it felt very patriotic to be marching in the parade along with the 120 participating reserve personnel.
Kolej International Graduate Studies (KIGS) student Muhd Nuur Siraaj bin Haji Muhd Rosanan, meanwhile, said, “I have never been fully involved with National Day events since my early schooling days and this year, as a new KIGS student, I am honoured to be selected as one of the students participating in this historical event.”
He noted that he and his friends were pretty excited for the day and have real time experience of marching into the historical park, where the historical proclamation of the Independence Day took place, and join the thousands of participants passing by their beloved monarch and other royal family members, witnessed by thousands of people from all walks of life.
“My mom used to tell me about how the Independence Day was and during that time I was not really fully aware of how the feeling would be, but after beginning our practices the spirit of patriotism suddenly filled me and my friends. I must say I am proud to be part of this year’s National Day celebration,” he added.
Fellow KIGS student Muhammad Syafiq Hazwan bin Kamarul Zaman, from the Bachelor of Communication and Digital Media, also expressed pride in being able to participate in the historical event, more so in participating with his fellow college mates and lecturers. He also hoped to be able to participate in more national events in the future.
KIGS Lecturer Mohammad Hassanal bin Harries, meanwhile, noted that this year’s theme aimed to instil three core features, which are loyalty to His Majesty and country, belief in the values of Islam and the harmony of social and traditional practices. He said, “The theme emphasises that each citizen has a role to play to ensure that Vision 2035 is successfully realised. We believe our college could produce citizens with such core features to help make it (Vision 2035) a reality.”
He said he was also happy to be part of the parade since it’s a great experience to gather with everyone early in the morning to celebrate the country’s National Day.
Marnie Farizan binti Haji Ahmad, involved in the field performance representing Dato Mohd Yassin Primary School in RPN Kampong Mentiri, said the students were excited from the first day of practice at the school’s hall.
After two weeks of practice, the students moved to the multi-purpose hall and the Balapan Track and Field of the Hassanal Bolkiah National Sports Complex.
“This is good to instil patriotism, nationhood and love for the country at their (the students) early age as they will be the nation’s future generation,” she said.
Mohd Amirul Ya’iisyuddin bin Haji Roslan from Politeknik Brunei’s School of Business, keeping in mind how much the country has given to the citizens, felt compelled to participate as a way of giving back to the nation.
He said, “There is also a lot of positives to learn from here. Having to see the amazing support and what the citizens are willing to do for the ruler, I feel the strong passion of patriotism very much.”