Brunei-Muara residents spend time with Monarch
THOUSANDS thronged the Taman Haji Sir Muda Omar 'Ali Saifuddien (Taman SOAS) in the capital for the opportunity to celebrate the occassion of His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam 66th Birthday followed by a ramah mesra (meet-and-greet) with the monarch.
After visiting the other three districts in the last few days, the monarch with his royal entourage arrived at Taman SOAS at 9.20am, greeted to the sound of hadrah beats and displays of the colorful bunga manggar carried by 66 male and 66 female students.
Accompanying him was HRH Prince Haji Al-Muhtadee Billah, the Crown Prince and Senior Minister at the Prime Minister's Office; HRH Prince Mohamed Bolkiah; HRH Prince Haji Sufri Bolkiah, HRH Prince Hj Jefri Bolkiah, HRH Prince 'Abdul Malik and HRH Prince 'Abdul Mateen.
The gratitude of the Brunei-Muara residents for His Majesty was expressed by the District Officer Hj Jamain Momin, who wished and prayed for the continued well-being of the monarch.
He also lauded recent moves such as the Employees Trust Fund (TAP) Housing Scheme and the fast track promotion scheme, both of which he said, aims to better the lives of the citizens.
In a performance after the speech, Brunei's story from the early days to its current economic glory was told in the form of a drama titled "Brunei Gemilang Meniti Zaman" featuring an ensemble of 566 secondary school and higher education institution students.
It then culminated with yellow, black and white balloons released into the air followed by a banner, signifying a pledge of loyalty to the monarch, the Malay Islamic Monarchy (MIB) philosophy and the goal of Wawasan 2035.
This was followed by a National Tug-of-War Competition between the districts of Belait and Brunei-Muara.
The latter won first prize, with His Majesty consenting to give away prizes to the winner and runner-ups Belait and Temburong before making his way to meet with the residents.
The monarch also made time to stop and receive a few pesambah as well as listen to various performances by organisations.
The looming grey clouds also seemed to permit the occassion by holding back its floodgates leaving the overcast skies without a drop of rain until the eventual drizzle in final moments of the meet-and-greet session.
Even so, students continued to brave the light rain, carrying their bright smiles with them while standing in line to meet the monarch.
As it came to an end, the monarch consented to take a group photo with excited local media groups, before proceeding into the Lapau Banquet Hall for santap.
The Brunei Times