| Lyna Mohamad & Rokiah Mahmud |
IT WAS a special day to remember for thousands of people from the Brunei-Muara and Temburong districts comprising orphans, less privileged and special needs individuals as they received the Kurnia from 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 in conjunction with the upcoming Hari Raya Aidilfitri celebration, yesterday.
Of the 7,563 less fortunate individuals selected to receive the Kurnia yesterday, 5,372 from the Brunei-Muara District and 769 from the Temburong District turned up to collect the cash gifts on the second day of distribution ceremonies held at the Reception Hall and Baitur Rahmah of the Istana Nurul Iman and Belalong Hall of Pekan Bangar Civic Centre Complex in Temburong.
On Saturday, 10,908 people received His Majesty’s personal gifts in ceremonies held in Brunei-Muara, Belait and Tutong districts.
This year, 19,576 less fortunate Bruneians were selected to receive His Majesty’s Kurnia.
Present as personal representatives of the monarch to hand over the Kurnia to 2,686 recipients at the Reception Hall were His Royal Highness Prince Haji Al-Muhtadee Billah ibni His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah, the Crown Prince and Senior Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office and Her Royal Highness Paduka Seri Pengiran Anak Isteri Pengiran Anak Sarah binti Pengiran Haji Salleh Ab Rahaman.
Upon arrival at the venue, Their Royal Highnesses were greeted by Minister of Home Affairs Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Kerna Dato Seri Setia (Dr) Haji Awang Abu Bakar bin Haji Apong and spouse and Minister of Defence II Pehin Datu Lailaraja Major General (Rtd) Dato Paduka Seri Haji Awang Halbi bin Haji Mohd Yussof and spouse.
The ceremony began with the recitation of Surah Al-Fatihah and Doa Selamat, led by Yang Berhormat Pehin Datu Imam Dato Paduka Seri Setia Ustaz Haji Awang Abdul Hamid bin Bakal.
Meanwhile at Baitur Rahmah, present as personal representatives of His Majesty to distribute the Kurnia were His Royal Highness Prince ‘Abdul Malik and Yang Amat Mulia Pengiran Anak Isteri Pengiran Raabi’atul ‘Adawiyyah binti Pengiran Haji Bolkiah who also presented to a total of 2,686 recipients.
His Royal Highness Prince ‘Abdul Malik and Yang Amat Mulia Pengiran Anak Isteri Pengiran Raabi’atul ‘Adawiyyah were greeted on arrival by Minister of Education Dato Paduka Awang Haji Hamzah bin Haji Sulaiman and spouse and Minister of Communications Awang Abdul Mutalib bin Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Setia Dato Paduka Haji Mohd Yusof and spouse.
The ceremony began with the recitation of Surah Al-Fatihah and Doa Selamat, led by Pehin Orang Kaya Paduka Seri Utama Dato Paduka Seri Setia Awang Haji Salim bin Haji Besar.
Meanwhile in Temburong, present to hand over the Kurnia as personal representative of His Majesty was His Royal Highness Prince ‘Abdul Mateen.
Upon arrival at the Belalong Hall of Pekan Bangar Civic Centre Complex, His Royal Highness Prince ‘Abdul Mateen was greeted by Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports Major General (Rtd) Dato Paduka Seri Awang Haji Aminuddin Ihsan bin Pehin Orang Kaya Saiful Mulok Dato Seri Paduka Haji Abidin.
The ceremony began with recitation of Surah Al-Fatihah and Doa Selamat, led by Pengiran Dato Seri Setia Haji Mohd Tashim bin Pengiran Haji Hassan.
At the ceremony His Royal Highness handed over the Kurnia to 769 recipients comprising orphans, special needs individuals, individuals receiving monthly welfare assistance either from the Brunei Islamic Religious Council (MUIB) or the Community Development Department (JAPEM) as well as individuals with severe financial difficulties.
The recipients were also offered the facility to redeem the gifts at various counters set up by Bank Islam Brunei Darussalam (BIBD) in another area of the Belalong Hall.
The Kurnia event has been held annually for the last nine years to coincide with the holy month of Ramadhan and the Hari Raya Aidilfitri festivities.
The presentation of the personal gifts reflects His Majesty’s care and generosity in ensuring the well-being of the people, especially those who are in need.
His Majesty’s caring attitude towards His subjects is not only reserved for Muslim citizens and residents but it covers non-Muslims as well.
The benevolent monarch’s generosity and sincerity in bestowing the Kurnia equally, regardless of religion and race, certainly strengthens unity and harmony among communities in the country.
Meanwhile, the citizens and residents of Brunei Darussalam expressed their sincere gratitude for having a monarch who always strives to help those who are in need.
At all Kurnia distribution venues, festive cheers were seen on the faces of the recipients who said they were fortunate to receive the monarch’s personal gifts from His Majesty’s sons and daughters-in-law and it will remain a lifelong memory for them.