Lumut residents all smiles for HM’s visit
HIS Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam’s visits to villages in the country have always been a way for the monarch to be closer to the people, and know their grievances and contentment, regardless of its duration.
In an interview with The Brunei Times, Kg Lumut I village head and a member of the Belait Legislative Council member, Yang Berhormat Hj Mohd Shafiee Ahmad said, “Visiting villages was a tradition for His Majesty. He always wanted to know more about his people.”
His Majesty’s visit to Kg Sungai Bakong Lumut yesterday was no different. The monarch mingled with the residents of nearby villages after handing over house keys to 666 recipients for two national housing plans. He also visited two schools and visited several of the new houses.
YB Hj Mohd Shafiee said His Majesty visited the village twice before in 2003 and 2008.
YB Hj Mohd Shafiee said it was customary for His Majesty to ask about progress in the village. It also offer the village residents opportunity to speak with His Majesty on any problems that may not reach the intended governmental agencies.
Eight pro-vocational students from Perdana Wazir Secondary School kept the atmosphere lively with their live performance of traditional music.
YB Hj Mohd Shafiee shared that blocked drainage was a concern at the village as well as the incidence of Japanese Encephalitis (JE) infection in the country.
The Ministry of Health previously reported a total of 15 JE cases in Brunei, with 14 recorded in Belait. Even though none of the cases were reported in the village, they participated in a cleaning campaign last week to guard against the infection.
The leader get a glimpse of the village life as he mingled with the residents; young and old tied by the strong bond of kinship. Booths were set up to showcase the local products crafted by the villagers. The event also saw the presence of Yang Berhormat Hj Mohd Yusof Dulamin, head village of Kg Mumong, who is also another member of Legislative Council.
His Majesty’s presence made an impression on everyone, including Hj Ishak Kassim. Hj Ishak’s wish to give His Majesty a gift at the event came true. The handicraft maker gave His Majesty a cane as a gift. Hj Ishak was invited to set up a booth and display his products at the event.
Hj Ishak decided to give His Majesty the cane, made from ‘Kayu cendana’ after he saw the monarch touched it. Hj Ishak brought various kinds of canes and parang (machetes) for sale at the event.
“I would like to give His Majesty a gift but wanted to make sure that the gift was something that His Majesty would like. So I waited for His Majesty to touch one that caught his attention before giving it to him.”
This was not the first time Hj Ishak was commissioned to produce a gift for the monarch, but this was the first time that the gift was something that the monarch picked himself.
“The gift is not much but it is from my heart,” he said.
Hjh Jamilah Hj Sulaiman, a teacher at the Perdana Wazir Secondary School, brought with her eight students from the school’s pro-vocational class to perform traditional music at the event.
“The students were so eager to meet His Majesty in person. This is a chance for them to perform for His Majesty. They had been practicing for His Majesty,” she said.
Hjh Jamilah was also one of the Women Bureau members for the Kg Lumut Village Consultative Council.
The Brunei Times