‘I attend birthday parade every year’

National 2 minutes, 17 seconds

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

HJ MOKSIN Hj Serudin, 91, has been attending major national celebrations as far back as he can remember, and His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah, the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam’s 70th birthday parade was no exception.

The senior citizen from Kampong Ayer said he knew how difficult it was to witness National Day and the Sultan’s birthday celebrations in the 1960s, thus he now takes advantage of the easier transportation accessibility from water to Taman Hj Sir Muda Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien every year.

Found wandering alone while waiting for the parade to start, Hj Moksin told The Brunei Times that transportation and road system improvements have enabled more Bruneians to witness the Sultan’s birthday celebrations compared to the olden days.

“Nowadays, there are many people gathered at Taman SOAS (for the parade). Previously, it is not easy for everyone to come here due to the lack of access,” said Hj Moksin, who can still walk unaided.

Hj Moksin, who has 15 children and worked in the civil service before his retirement, said the celebrations were a good opportunity to observe differences in Brunei’s progress.

The Kg Bolkiah B resident also praised His Majesty’s leadership, saying that Bruneians’ standard of living has improved over the years.

He also hoped that His Majesty will continue to rule Brunei and take care of the people’s welfare.

Sharing similar sentiments, Hj Abd Rahman Hj Yussof said not many people were able to attend national celebrations in the past.

“Even though some people have to sacrifice by leaving their homes to make way for road building and other developments, it’s better that way because many people are now enjoying a better life,” said the 60-year-old from Kg Sungai Kianggeh.

Meanwhile, Salleh Hj Manaf from Kg Jerudong said Brunei was not as developed in the 1950s.

“We should remember that back in the old days, nothing came easy, those who live in Muara had to walk by foot to other places,” said the 70-year-old, adding that he had previously walked from Muara to Gadong just to buy groceries.

“Some people might see the road system as just another development, but for us who experienced the hardships, we see this as something significant for our livelihoods,” said Salleh.

Salmah Hj Abdullah, 67, said the younger generation should take the initiative to learn Brunei history as ignorance or lack of knowledge on Brunei’s olden days may contribute to them being unappreciative of their privileged life in Brunei.

“Every single day, we (senior citizen) have seen many changes. Young people should not take this for granted as what we see today may not be similar in another 100 years,” she added.

The Brunei Times