HM graces Sarawak Regatta

National 2 minutes, 32 seconds


THOUSANDS of Kuching festival revellers turned up to watch the races yesterday as His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam consented to attend the finals of the Sarawak Regatta 2014 at the Kuching Waterfront, Sarawak.

The royal entourage travelled on foot some 300m from the Hilton Hotel to the grandstage facing the Sarawak river, as locals and foreign tourists jostled for a view of the Brunei monarch. His Majesty was accompanied by Tun Tan Sri Pehin Sri Hj Abdul Taib Hj Mahmud, Sarawak Governor and his spouse, Toh Puan Sri Raghad Kurdi Taib.

They were welcomed at the grandstage by  Tan Sri Datuk Amar Hj Adenan Hj Satem, Chief Minister of Sarawak, and his spouse, Puan Sri Dato Hjh Jamilah Anu, and  Datuk Amar Abang Hj Abd Rahman Tun Abang Hj Openg, Sarawak Minister of Housing and Minister of Tourism as the Minister in charge of the Sarawak Regatta.

His Majesty formally launched the finals, hailed by the contingents of international rowing teams, including the Brunei Darussalam national team, competing in the 20-paddler Dragon Boat Men's Open Category. The monarch also received a gift (pesambah) from Datuk Amar Abang Hj Abd Rahman.

After watching several races, including Brunei's participation in the first race, the Sultan then boarded the Sayang Sarawak catamaran with Sarawakian dignitaries, travelling upstream on the Sarawak River to observe the Diplomatic Dragon Boat Race special category. Rowers went up to the cruise boat after finishing, hailing the monarch on the special occasion.

After disembarking, His Majesty presented prizes to the winning boat of the diplomatic race, Cahaya Zen, owned and managed by the Sarawak Governor.

Also present at the events were Datuk Amar Hj Awang Tengah Ali Hassan, Sarawak Sarawak Minister of Industrial Development, Second Minister of Resource Planning and Environment and Minister of Public Utilities, as the Minister in Attendance and other Sarawak State Ministers.

His Majesty, accompanied by the Sarawak Governor and spouse, then left for luncheon at the Kuching Hilton, where they were greeted by  Tan Sri Amar James Jemut Masing, Sarawak Minister of Land Development. Sarawak State Imam Datuk Hj Jorgi Suhaili recited a doa prior to the luncheon.

Accompanying His Majesty at the events was Brunei's Minister of Finance II, Yang Berhormat Pehin Orang Kaya Laila Setia Dato Seri Setia Hj Abdul Rahman Hj Ibrahim.

After the luncheon, His Majesty departed Kuching for Brunei at the Kuching International Airport. Present at the airport to bid farewell were Tun Tan Sri Pehin Sri Hj Abdul Taib, Tan Sri Datuk Amar Hj Adenan, Datuk Amar Hj Awang Tengah and Hj Soerdiman Aini, General Manager of Sarawak Economic Development Corporation as well as Senior Officials from the Government of Sarawak.

Also present at the farewell was Hj Kamsani Hj Noordin, Consul General of Brunei Darussalam in Kuching.

Tracing its long history as far back as 1872, the Sarawak Regatta has seen a burgeoning participation from international teams competing in a variety of traditional and modern boat races. It caps of a weeks-long celebration of the annual Kuching Festival.

The Brunei Times