An elderly’s reverence
BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN
TO GREET His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam once a year during the get-togethers, there are many elderly who don't mind enduring inconveniences to travel long distance, riding boats and taking road transport.
During the get-together session yesterday for the Brunei-Muara residents, 68-year-old Rokiah Abdullah from Kampong Ayer made her way alone by boat and a bus ride to the Taman Haji Sir Muda Omar 'Ali Saifuddien (Taman SOAS) to meet and wish the monarch.
The frail and diminutive elderly was seen to be having a tough time amid the jostling crowds vying to meet and greet the Sultan. Seeing her plight, some good Samaritans pulled her to safety and placed her at a vantage point where she could meet His Majesty.
Talking to The Brunei Times she said that she had been coming every year to the meet-and-greet sessions just to shake hand with the monarch and wish him well.
"It's an occasion that is rare. It only takes place once a year," said Rokiah.
Rokiah said she knows how to recite pantun (short Malay poetry) and even recited a number of pantun which she knew by heart to The Brunei Times.
When asked if she was going to recite a pantun for His Majesty, she said she might, "just a simple one".
However, when her turn finally came, she reached out to shake hand with His Majesty, and it was a memorable moment for those around Rokiah as His Majesty displayed affection by touching her face and speaking to her.
Later, Rokiah said she had forgotten to recite her pantun before the ruler as she was overwhelmed by His Majesty's imposing presence.
Shortly after, Rokiah also had the pleasure of shaking hands with other members of the royal family. When it came to shaking hand with HRH Prince Mohamed Bolkiah, she managed to compose herself and recited a pantun.
"I am very grateful and happy that I was able to meet His Majesty and other royal family members. I pray for all of them to have good health. Hopefully, I can meet them again next year," said Rokiah.
The Brunei Times