| James Kon |
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 and Her Majesty Duli Raja Isteri Pengiran Anak Hajah Saleha binti Al-Marhum Pengiran Pemancha Pengiran Anak Haji Mohamed Alam yesterday graced a memorable Chinese New Year celebration organised by the local Chinese community at the International Convention Centre (ICC) in Berakas.
Accompanying Their Majesties at the Tiong Hua Chinese New Year 2018 get-together ceremony, were His Royal Highness Prince Haji Al-Muhtadee Billah, the Crown Prince and Senior Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office; Her Royal Highness Paduka Seri Pengiran Anak Isteri Pengiran Anak Sarah binti Pengiran Haji Salleh Ab Rahaman; His Royal Highness Prince ‘Abdul Malik; His Royal Highness Prince Mohamed Bolkiah; His Royal Highness Prince Haji Sufri Bolkiah; His Royal Highness Prince Haji Jefri Bolkiah; Her Royal Highness Princess Hajah Masna, Ambassador-at-Large at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade; Her Royal Highness Princess Hajah Amal Umi Kalthum Al-Islam; Yang Amat Mulia Pengiran Lela Cheteria Sahibun Najabah Pengiran Anak Haji Abdul Aziz bin Pengiran Jaya Negara Pengiran Haji Abu Bakar, Chief of Adat Istiadat Negara; and Yang Amat Mulia Pengiran Indera Setia Diraja Sahibul Karib Pengiran Anak Haji Idris bin Pengiran Maharaja Lela Pengiran Muda Abdul Kahar.
Also attending the celebration were Cabinet Ministers, members of the Legislative Council, prominent figures in the government, foreign dignitaries and members of the Chinese community.
Upon arrival at the ICC, Their Majesties and members of the royal family were welcomed by Pehin Kapitan Lela Diraja Dato Paduka Goh King Chin, honorary advisor to the organising committee for the Chinese New Year celebrations 2018; YB Ong Tiong Oh, a member of the Legislative Council; and Malcom Lim, President of Chinese Chamber of Commerce Bandar Seri Begawan who is also the Chairman of the Chinese New Year organising committee.
Prior to the get-together ceremony, Their Majesties and members of the royal family joined for a group photo session with the organising committee before heading to the Plenary Hall. This was followed by singing of the national anthem and presentation of a pesambah to His Majesty. Nine electrifying performances presented by students of Chung Hwa Middle School, BSB, thrilled Their Majesties and members of the royal family as well as the audience.
The performances included Chinese New Year songs, traditional dances, Malay poetry, wushu and others. Before the ceremony concluded, invited guests and the performers took the opportunity to greet Their Majesties and members of the royal family.
In an interview after the ceremony, Pehin Kapitan Lela Diraja Dato Paduka Goh King Chin said, “The Chinese community felt honoured and privileged to be able to celebrate Chinese New Year with Their Majesties and the royal family for 12 consecutive years since 2006. This has demonstrated the loving monarch’s care for the people including the Chinese community.”
Under the Malay Islamic Monarchy (MIB), the national philosophy of Brunei Darussalam, the many ethnicity and people in this country can live harmoniously and prosper together, he added.
Meanwhile, Malcom Lim highlighted, “We are honoured that Their Majesties and members of the royal family attended the get-together. We also appreciate the attendance of various Cabinet Ministers, government officials as well as representatives of the private sector who turned up to celebrate the Chinese New Year this year. The Chinese New Year get-together ceremony is a very good avenue for the Chinese community to interact with the government sector.”
He emphasised the need for cooperation among all ethnicities in Brunei for the continued prosperity and harmony of the country.
Malcom Lim thanked Their Majesties for attending the celebration as well as the organising committee members for their hard work in making the event a success.