Thai embassy opens condolence book for king

National 1 minute, 57 seconds

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

THE Thai embassy in Brunei is inviting members of the public to sign a book of condolences for King Bhumibol Adulyadej, the world’s longest-reigning monarch who passed away on Thursday at the age of 88.

Diplomats and government officials are invited to sign the condolence book at the Thai Embassy in Kg Bunut from Saturday afternoon at 1.30pm to 4pm.

Members of the public are welcomed from Monday afternoon at 1.30 pm to 4pm, and from Tuesday to Thursday, from 10.30am to 12pm and 1.30pm to 4pm.

The Thai government has declared a year of mourning to mark the passing of the beloved king, who reigned for seven decades.

A constitutional monarch with no formal political role, King Bhumibol was considered the father-figure of the nation, and was regarded as Thailand’s unifying figure on the nation’s fractious political scene.

The palace did not give a cause of death but the king had been sick in hospital with various ailments for much of the past year. His son, Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn, is expected to become Thailand’s new king.

His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah, the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam sent a condolences message to the heir-apparent, saying the late king was “a true role model of a great and benevolent leader for his deep and unwavering commitment for the welfare and development of his country and people”.

Natthavarut Songkhla, a Thai national living in Brunei, said he felt profound sadness on hearing about the death of the king.

“King Bhumibol is the only king I have ever known, the only king my parents have ever known,” said the 31-year-old.

“Thailand has had a lot of political upheavals over the years, military coups. He was a figure of peace who urged for calm during times of crisis, a constant through all our storms.”

“I worry for our future without him,” he added.

Natthavarut’s wife, Fai Rakasaseri, said the late monarch’s presence was felt in every corner of Thai life.

“He was adored, his picture was everywhere. When I was growing up we would see him on TV every week, he even came to our province to visit several times. He showed deep care for the people throughout his life, and he will be missed very much,” she said.

The Brunei Times