‘March-past, a show of discipline and fitness’
BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN
MARCHING impeccably under the scorching heat of the sun is a feat that requires immense discipline and endurance.
Lieutenant Colonel Muhd Wata Abdullah Awat, a senior military officer, said the regimental format of the march-past is a manifestation of the uniformed personnel’s exceptional discipline and physical condition.
“Without coordination, those marching will not be in perfect synchronisation. That’s why we need to practice, practice, practice,” he said.
Hundreds from the Royal Brunei Armed Forces (RBAF) and Royal Brunei Police Force (RBPF) assembled in the capital on July 15 for the 70th birthday parade of His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah, the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam.
The march-past at Taman Haji Sir Muda Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien also saw the participation of female military and police personnel, a rare tradition observed at the turn of each decade.
ASP Hjh Mariyani Hj Abdul Wahab believed their involvement in this year’s celebration reflected the role and relevance of women in uniform, adding that it was an opportunity to prove their mettle through the execution of a commendable parade.
“The preparation not only tested but also strengthened our patience, discipline as well as our fitness,” said the police officer.
Police personnel Sergeant Familawati Hj Moksin saw the parade as a platform to demonstrate gender equality in the security forces, adding that women in uniform are as capable as their male comrades.
RBAF officer Major Dk Sri Rohayou Pg Matarsat said numerous rehearsals were conducted including throughout Ramadhan to ensure they were well prepared for the celebration.
“Alhamdulillah, I feel very honoured to be chosen to lead the contingent of female military personnel for His Majesty’s 70th birthday parade. Since I’m currently in my 18th year of service, this might be my last time participating,” she said.
For Captain Mohd Idrus Hj Awang, acting director of music in the RBAF Band, the march past showed their level of discipline as they marched to the tune of the songs being played.
“It’s a challenge especially with the weather in Brunei. Some of the musical instruments are quite heavy, but that’s why we practice. We build endurance so that we have enough stamina to endure the parade with no problems at all,” he said.
RBPF officer DSP Gina See reiterated the parade was rehearsed to perfection as it was “a gift” for the monarch’s 70th birthday.
“This is our gift to His Majesty. We are here to present the best parade... We were very lucky to be among the chosen few because we don’t know if we’ll be around to join the next parade in 10 years,” she said.
The Brunei Times