Unwavering support for Sultan

, National 2 minutes, 28 seconds

TEMBURONG

Thousands of Temburong residents swarmed the Community Field in Bangar Town in a show of unwavering support for His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam during the get-together for the monarch's 64th birthday celebrations yesterday.

Hours before the monarch arrived, Bangar Town was already a beehive of activity as residents lined roads to catch a glimpse of His Majesty and other members of the royal family.

The monarch arrived in a special Blackhawk helicopter which flew over the ceremony grounds before landing on a helipad.

His Majesty was accompanied by His Royal Highness Crown Prince Hj Al-Muhtadee Billah, His Royal Highness Prince Hj Sufri Bolkiah, His Royal Highness Prince Hj Jefri Bolkiah, His Royal Highness Prince Hj 'Abdul 'Azim and His Royal Highness Prince 'Abdul Malik.

According to several teachers, about 1,000 flag-waving students lined up along the main road and the road leading to the district officers' official residence, where His Majesty first stopped.

Upon arrival, His Majesty was welcomed by Minister of Home Affairs Pehin Udana Khatib Dato Paduka Seri Setia Ustaz Hj Badaruddin Pengarah Dato Paduka Hj Othman, Deputy Minister Pehin Datu Lailaraja Major General (Rtd) Dato Paduka Seri Hj Halbi Hj Md Yussof and Acting Temburong District Officer Hj Afero Eswandy Hj Mohammad.

The monarch was also greeted by excited students beating the rhythms of the hadrah, as well as participants dressed in traditional costumes.

Before His Majesty was seated at the royal dais, silence fell over the grounds that was broken by a choir of 300 leading the thousands through the national anthem, which was followed by three passionate cheers of "Daulat Kebawah Duli Tuan Patik" (All Hail His Majesty).

The acting Temburong district officer then delivered a speech, conveying the people's great appreciation for their leader.

The appreciation was also expressed by students who ran towards the stage in their brightly coloured costumes of green, blue, pink and red for their choreographed performances.

This was followed by the gulingtangan (a traditional xylophone) group in the middle, then the hadrah (traditional drums) team, the choir and the Fire and Rescue Department band.

Performers swayed with their colourful hand-held fans, while dancing to the songs by the choir, as well as the hadrah and gulingtangan group.

The performances revolved around the theme "Doa untuk Raja" or prayer for the king, and "Dirgahayu" which means "Long Live His Majesty"an expression of gratitude and love for His Majesty's care and concern for the development and progress of Temburong district.

The brightly-coloured coordinated performances involved about 450 participants from Sultan Hassan Bangar Secondary School, primary schools, youth organisations, the Mukim and Kampung Consultative Council, voluntary organisations and the Fire and Rescue Department in Temburong.

Uniformed cadets were also seen carrying the national flag marching around the stage during the performance.

The ceremony culminated with His Majesty and the royal family making their rounds to meet and greet well-wishers.

The Brunei Times