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 graced the 38th Brunei Darussalam’s National Day celebration at the Taman Haji Sir Muda Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien in the capital yesterday.
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 Mateen; and His Royal Highness Prince Mohamed Bolkiah.
Upon arrival at the Taman, 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 Executive Committee for the 38th National Day celebrations; Deputy Minister of Education Datin Seri Paduka Dr Hajah Romaizah binti Haji Mohd Salleh and Deputy Minister of Religious Affairs Pengiran Dato Seri Paduka Haji Bahrom bin Pengiran Haji Bahar in their capacity as members of the Executive Committee for the 38th National Day celebration.
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 held in adherence to the standard operating procedures (SOPs) and guidelines issued by the Ministry of Health (MoH) amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The scaled-down celebrations did not affect the joyous mood of the participants.
With the Sultanate in the beginning of the Endemic Phase, this year’s theme ‘Accomplishing the National Vision’ focusses on the need to accept the reality of a new way of life, taking a step forward to reduce the disruption to existing quality of life, namely by choosing the righteous path to Allah the Almighty, while achieving the Brunei Vision 2035 goals.
The theme also emphasises on the people’s resilience in staying strong as one nation united to defend its independence, face various challenges, share responsibilities and play a vital role towards sustainable and empowering development.
Eight groups involving some 3,800 participants from 38 flag bearers carrying a giant-size national flag, 38 participants in the oath readers’ team, and 100 bearers of the national flag and the 38th National Day banner started the parade.
It was followed by the national security groups comprising the RBAF, the RBPF, government uniformed teams and the Prisons Department band, as well as other uniformed personnel.
Also participating in the march past were representatives of the public and private sectors, public and education bodies, cycling association and in-line skates members.
A team of COVID-19 frontliners comprising doctors, nurses and youth volunteers concluded the march past.
Youth from different academic background and professions, including those with different abilities, read the National Day oath led by Muhammad Abdul Wafi bin Haji Soffian. The call of Allahu Akbar was led by Haji Abdul Afiq bin Zainuddin.
Some 2,500 participants, including 2,000 involved in the march past, sang a number of patriotic songs during the performance titled Berat sama dipikul, ringan sama dinjinjing.
The performance showcases the significance of unity among the people in achieving a similar goal for the Sultanate, through creating progress in the physical and spiritual aspects, thus showing that the nation’s survival is dependent on the population to adopt the Malay Islamic Monarchy (MIB) philosophy.
To curb the spread of COVID-19, entrances to the venue were strictly supervised, where children under 12 years and those with symptoms such as fever, sore throat, coughing or flu and breathing difficulties were not allowed to attend.
Those on duty, attendees and participants had to have completed two doses of the COVID-19 vaccination, scan their BruHealth QR code, and screen themselves for the virus using the antigen rapid test (ART) kit at checkpoints at the venue.
Wearing of face masks, social distancing as well as washing and sanitising hands were practised during the event.