Quartet receives top honours for excellence

|     Aziz Idris     |

A GRAND day got even grander for four outstanding recruits following their passing out as commissioned Royal Brunei Armed Forces (RBAF) officers during the Sovereign’s Parade for the RBAF 17th Intake, after they were awarded top honours for their excellent performance during training.

Hafaz Al-Quran special degree holder, 52525 Officer Cadet Muhammad Hidayatullah Sunazul Fikar bin Suip, received the Sword of Honour accolade, an award given to the most outstanding officer cadet in the military academy.

The graduate from Universiti Islam Sultan Sharif Ali (UNISSA), who also holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Takhassus Al-Quran and Al-Qiraat from Ma’ahad Qiraat Al-Quran Al-Azhar in Egypt, was presented with the sword by 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, Minister of Defence and Supreme Commander of the RBAF during the Sovereign’s Parade held at the Defence Academy RBAF in Kampong Tanah Jambu, yesterday.

With more of a religious than military background, Muhammad Hidayatullah said he was pleased to have received the honour and hopes to guide his fellow comrades based on the spiritual teachings of Al-Quran.

He said that although the military wasn’t initially his first choice as he was studying to become an Al-Hafaz teacher, he began to love the job after undergoing the training, and came to know of and understand the values and responsibilities cultivated within the RBAF personnel in their lives as military officers.

52528 Midshipman Mohammad Syafi’ie bin Othman with his family. – RAHWANI ZAHARI

“I managed to adapt to new surroundings and stepped out of my comfort zone to answer the call made by His Majesty on youth having a lack of enthusiasm and being too cautious,” he said. “With my religious background, I plan to spread the knowledge I gained from the teachings of Al-Quran into the military to support His Majesty’s aspiration of seeing Brunei become a Zikir Nation and to shape myself to be a better soldier.”

Meanwhile, 52528 Midshipman Mohammad Syafi’ie bin Othman who holds a Bachelor of Science in Geoscience from Universiti Brunei Darussalam, received the Best Academic Award for his overall outstanding academic results throughout the course.

“My hard work finally paid off,” said Mohammad Syafi’ie, flanked by his family members.

“I’m glad our superiors recognised my work and saw the change in me. Being in the military is part of my life’s learning process that will never end. I’m actually quite shocked to receive the award as I do lack self-confidence. However, after undergoing the gruelling military training I managed to develop my personal skills and gain confidence through exposure [to physical exercises] and public speaking,” he said.

The Best Military Skills Award went to engineering graduate Midshipman 52527 Muhammad Hamizan bin Haji Zaini in recognition of his excellent achievements in all areas of military skills.

“I look forward to being deployed with the Royal Brunei Navy to assist in the engineering functions of its military vessels, and aspire to be part of a worldwide voyage during my time in service,” said Muhammad Hamizan, who holds a Bachelor of Engineering (Hons) in Material Science and Engineering from Imperial College London, and was also the recipient of the RBAF Scholarship in 2014.

The final recipient in the list of outstanding cadets was 17956 Officer Cadet (U) Mohd Zulhaffiz Zarriq bin Ranee, who was awarded the Best in Physical Training Award, which recognises excellence in physical training.

Mohd Zulhaffiz Zarriq also holds a Higher National Diploma in Computing and Systems from Laksamana College of Business (LCB).