In conjunction with Brunei Darussalam’s 39th National Day celebration, 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 joined thousands to cycle over 10.3 kilometres in the Semangat Kebangsaan 2023 Recreational Cycling event in the capital yesterday.
Accompanying His Majesty at Taman Haji Sir Muda Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien were His Royal Highness Prince ‘Abdul Malik and His Royal Highness Prince ‘Abdul Mateen.
After two years’ hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it was the first Semangat Kebangsaan Recreational Cycling after Brunei entered the endemic phase.
Upon arrival, His Majesty and members of the royal family were greeted by Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Nazmi bin Haji Mohamad as Chairman of the 39th National Day celebration executive committee, and other Cabinet ministers.
The day kicked off with His Majesty officiating the Semangat Kebangsaan 2023 Recreational Cycling and signing a framed jersey commissioned for the occasion.
His Majesty then led the cycling event along the route through Jalan Pretty, turning to Jalan Elizabeth II to Jalan Stoney and cycling to Jalan Haji Basir past Pusar Ulak Primary School and headed to Jalan Kumbang Pasang passing Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Silver Jubilee Park and toward Jalan Perdana Menteri.
His Majesty made a U-turn at the roundabout in front of the Prime Minister’s Office building and headed back to Taman Haji Sir Muda Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien through Jalan Kumbang Pasang and passing Sultan Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien College and St Andrew‘s School before reaching Jalan Raja Isteri Pengiran Anak Saleha and entering Jalan Sultan Omar ‘Ali Saifuddein.
His Majesty then made a surprise move to continue cycling within the heart of the capital before concluding at Taman Haji Sir Muda Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien.
After a short break, His Majesty then received a pesambah presented by the Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports and witnessed a march past by 39 cyclists and inline skaters who had earlier taken part in a 39-kilometre event.
His Majesty also witnessed several performances by trainees under the National Service Programme (PKBN), which included displays in body combat and silat.
Members of the public also snapped pictures with the monarch as well as members of the royal family.
His Majesty took a closer look at the traditional games, languages, music and culture of Brunei Darussalam exhibition during a tour of the booths, which displayed traditional games such as pasang, salok-salokan, buah lapas-lapas and congkak set up by the Museums Department. There was also a giant pasang game on display.
Products from Pusat Bahagia and Senior Citizens Activity Centre were also on display as well as information on Welfare Helpline 141 and Talian Anak 121 set up by Community Development Department.
The Language and Literature Bureau organised quizzes on Brunei Malay words, poetry, sahibba as well as traditional Brunei Malay pictures. On display were books from the bureau, get to know Kedayan dialect/dialogue as well as grasping Jawi words, Brunei food and the seven dialects. Meanwhile, the Brunei History Centre featured puzzle games, an exhibition on the preservation of old records as well as books for sale.
His Majesty watched a traditional musical performance and a silat and gasing demonstration as well as visited a kite exhibition before concluding the tour.