Patriotic spirit reverberates

Rokiah Mahmud

More than 4,000 participants from various agencies pledged their loyalty and spirit of nationhood during the 37th Brunei Darussalam National Day celebration in Bandar Seri Begawan yesterday.

Gracing the celebration was 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, who arrived to a warm welcome in an atmosphere filled with patriotic colours.

Accompanying His Majesty were 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 Mateen; 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.

On arrival at Taman Haji Sir Muda Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien, His Majesty and members of the royal family were greeted by Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports Major General (Rtd) Dato Paduka Seri Haji Aminuddin Ihsan bin Pehin Orang Kaya Saiful Mulok Dato Seri Paduka Haji Abidin in his capacity as the Chairman of the 37th National Day Celebration Executive Committee; Chief of Adat Istiadat Negara Yang Amat Mulia Pengiran Lela Cheteria Sahibun Najabah Pengiran Anak Haji Abdul Aziz bin Pengiran Jaya Negara Pengiran Haji Abu Bakar; and other Executive Committee members.

The royal entourage was welcomed by patriotic spectators with a royal salute, followed by the singing of the national anthem.

The event commenced with His Majesty inspecting a guard of honour mounted by personnel from the Royal Brunei Armed Forces (RBAF) and the Royal Brunei Police Force (RBPF).

Unlike previous celebrations, this year’s event was carried out in a different format, in adherence to the standard operating procedures (SOPs) and guidelines issued by the Ministry of Health (MoH). Despite the scaled-down celebration, it did not affect the joyous mood of those present.

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 inspects the guard of honour during the 37th National Day celebration yesterday. PHOTO: INFOFOTO
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; 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 Mateen; 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 at the 37th National Day celebration. PHOTOS: BAHYIAH BAKIR & INFOFOTO
ABOVE & BELOW: His Majesty; His Royal Highness Prince Haji Al-Muhtadee Billah; His Royal Highness Prince ‘Abdul Mateen; and His Royal Highness Prince Mohamed Bolkiah mingle with participants

This year’s theme Menjayakan Wawasan Negara (Accomplishing the National Vision) focussed on the vital roles that need to be achieved by all citizens and residents of Brunei Darussalam in all sectors, towards the country’s development and progress, in ensuring the success of Brunei Vision 2035 as envisaged by His Majesty.

The theme also emphasises that everyone, especially youth, have a role in realising the goals of Brunei Vision 2035. At the same time, it upholds the continuous efforts undertaken by all government and private agencies in curbing the spread of COVID-19 pandemic, which requires the country to remain vigilant.

The march-past before the royal dais was performed by 113 agencies comprising 20 teams with 2,800 people, while the parade was divided into eight groups comprising flag bearers carrying a giant-size national flag; the National Day oath readers’ team; and bearers of the national flag and the 37th National Day banner.

The parade was followed with a National Security group made up of the RBAF, the RBPF, government uniformed teams and the Prisons Department band, as well as other uniformed personnel.

Also participating in the parade were representatives of the public and private sectors, public movements, education, and smart society.

Thirty-seven members of the Cycling Association also took part in the march-past, before embarking on a 37km expedition from Taman Haji Sir Muda Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien.

The march-past concluded with a COVID-19 frontliners’ team which included doctors, nurses and youth volunteers.

The National Day oath was read by Consultant Cardiothoracic Surgery at Gleneagles Jerudong Park Medical Centre Dr Muhd Nadzir bin Pengiran Mohd Juanda.

The National Day oath readers comprised 37 youth from different academic backgrounds and professions, including those with different abilities. Meanwhile, the call of Allahu Akbar was led by Abdul Nur Mafuuz bin Haji Buhari, a youth volunteer working at the Seria Health Centre as a frontliner.

A field performance based on this year’s theme was showcased by over 1,000 participants representing various national development agencies including public servants, the private sector, associations, students, youth and children.

The performance featured the efforts and continuous initiatives being carried out in the aspects of sustainability development, while preparing the young generation in defence of the country and readying them for the Industrial Revolution 4.0.

To curb the spread of COVID-19, entrances to the Taman were strictly supervised, requiring BruHealth QR Code scans, social distancing of at least one metre apart and the use of hand sanitisers.