Royal birthday occasion lined up

Rokiah Mahmud

With the consent 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 nation will observe and commemorate His Majesty’s 75th birthday celebrations on July 15.

This was announced by Minister of Home Affairs Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Kerna Dato Seri Setia (Dr) Haji Awang Abu Bakar bin Haji Apong in a press conference at the Ministry of Home Affairs (MoHA) building in the capital yesterday.

The minister, in his capacity as Chairman of the National Executive Committee for His Majesty’s 75th Birthday Celebrations, explained that all ceremonies, programmes and events have been arranged in accordance with the new norms and guidelines issued by the Ministry of Health (MoH).

It will also be held along with safety protocols and standard operating procedures (SOPs).

Among the outlined programmes are the Hoisting of the Giant National Flag at 8am on July 1 in the capital; mass Maghrib and Isyak prayers; and the recitation of Surah Yaasiin, Tahlil and Doa Kesyukuran at 5.45pm, on July 14, at all nationwide mosques, suraus and prayer halls, with the main focus at Jame’ Asr Hassanil Bolkiah in Kampong Kiarong.

“The Grand Parade will take place on July 15, at Taman Haji Sir Muda Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien in the capital, starting at 7.20am. Following the parade, an Audience and Investiture ceremony will be carried out at Balai Singgahsana Indera Buana, Istana Nurul Iman,” he said.

“The get-together ceremony in Tutong District will be held at 8.30am on July 25, at the Tutong Community Complex Field.

Minister of Home Affairs Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Kerna Dato Seri Setia (Dr) Haji Awang Abu Bakar bin Haji Apong during the press conference
Members of the National Executive Committee for His Majesty’s 75th Birthday Celebrations at the event. PHOTOS: ROKIAH MAHMUD

“In the Temburong District, the event will take place at around 8.30am, on July 27, at the Pekan Bangar Community Hall Complex, Temburong.

“On August 1, the get-together ceremony will be held at 7am, at the Taman Haji Sir Omar ‘Ali Saifuddein in the Brunei-Muara District. For the Belait District, the ceremony is scheduled to take place at 8.30am, at the Kuala Belait Municipal Board Area on August 3.”

The minister also reminded that invited guests at the get-together ceremonies would need to adhere to guidelines issued by the MoH to curb the spread of COVID-19, along with safety protocols and SOPs.

“The lowering of the national flag will be held at the Yayasan Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Complex open area at 2pm on July 31,” he said.

“Other side-programmes, including the nightly festive stalls in all four districts, will start from July 15 to August 3.

“The venues for the festive stalls are the parking area in front of the Royal Regalia Museum in Bandar Seri Begawan, in the Brunei-Muara District; Gerai Tudung Saji in the Belait District; the open area in front of the Pengiran Muda Mahkota Pengiran Muda Haji Al-Muhtadee Billah Hospital, for the Tutong District; and the Taman Perayaan area in Pekan Bangar, for the Temburong District.

“The operational hours for all festive night stalls are 5pm to 10.30pm.”

Meanwhile, at the same press conference, Permanent Secretary at the MoH Haji Maswadi bin Haji Mohsin said that everyone must remain vigilant and continue to observe prevention measures, despite no local transmissions of COVID-19 recorded in Brunei Darussalam since May 6, 2020.

“Invited guest and members of the public will need to have at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, to be able to attend the 75th birthday celebration events, including the Grand Parade at the Taman Haji Sir Muda Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien in the capital, the audience and investiture ceremonies at Istana Nurul Iman, and the Get-Together ceremonies in all four districts,” he said.

The permanent secretary also stated that health officers would be present to confirm the attendees’ vaccination status through the BruHealth app on their mobile phones or the vaccination booklets provided to them.

“Those who are not feeling well and exhibit symptoms such as fever, shortness of breath, coughs, flu, vomiting diarrhaea are not allowed to attend any celebratory events. Those who are at higher risk, including senior citizens and those with chronic diseases, are encouraged to wear face masks,” he said.

“The general public will also need to scan QR codes placed at several points at the festive stalls. Food vendors and members of the public are also advised to continually practise self-hygiene and that of their surroundings, by washing their hands and keeping the stall areas clean.

“Food vendors should always use face masks while preparing and serving food. They are also advised to get vaccinated during Phase 3 of the National Vaccination Programme.”

Director of Traffic Control Investigation Department of the Royal Brunei Police Force (RBPF) Senior Superintendent Pengiran Haji Abdul Salam bin Pengiran Haji Abdul Ghani advised motorists to observe road safety regulations and comply with all instructions from police personnel, to ensure smooth traffic flow while visiting the nightly festive stalls and main events in the capital.

He also advised members of the public to come early to avoid congestion, and to park their vehicles at designated areas.