Ministers welcome guests to their homes


AS BRUNEI enjoys the five-day break for Hari Raya, cabinet ministers joined in the festivities hosting a flurry of foreign dignitaries and VIP guests at their homes during the first three days of Aidil Fitri.

Minister of Religious Affairs (MoRA) Yang Berhormat Pehin Udana Khatib Dato Paduka Seri Setia Ustaz Hj Awg Badaruddin Pengarah Dato Paduka Hj Awg Othman held a traditional open house at his residence in Kg Sg Besar, Mukim Kota Batu on Thursday.

He said the most important thing during Hari Raya is strengthening good relations with neighbours, and that the festive season should be celebrated with everyone — regardless of age, race and religion.

Among YB Pehin Dato Hj Badaruddin’s guests was Singapore Senior Minister of State for Defence and Foreign Affairs Dr Mohammad Maliki Osman.

Dr Mohd Maliki is in the sultanate for a four-day visit “to personally convey the Hari Raya wishes of Singapore’s leaders” to Brunei’s monarch and royal family.

Speaking to The Brunei Times, Dr Mohd Maliki noted the uniqueness of Brunei’s open house traditions.

“I can see how great the relationship is between the citizens and residents of this country with the monarch,” he said.

The minister later visited the homes of other cabinet ministers including YB Minister of Education Pehin Orang Kaya Indera Pahlawan Dato Seri Setia Hj Suyoi Hj Osman; Minister of Communications YB Dato Paduka Hj Mustappa Hj Sirat; and Deputy Minister of Religious Affairs Dato Paduka Hj Abdul Mokti Hj Mohd Daud.

Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports (MCYS) Pehin Datu Lailaraja Major General (Rtd) Dato Paduka Seri Hj Awang Halbi Hj Mohd Yusof also held an open house in Kg Jangsak on Thursday.

Among the well-wishers was Defence Adviser of Singapore to Brunei Colonel Lee Yong Heng, who is celebrating Hari Raya in the sultanate for the third time.

“I look forward to meeting the defence community and their families. I also look forward to seeing the non-residential defence attachés that are based in Singapore, Kuala Lumpur and Jakarta who make this trip anually.”

YB Pehin Dato Hj Awg Halbi, the former commander of the Royal Brunei Armed Forces, added that he was happy to see the warm ties between foreign defence attachés in Brunei.

The Brunei Times