Bandar Seri Begawan - As The giant national flag was hoisted in the heart of the capital Sunday, the national anthem echoed throughout Bandar Seri Begawan, strongly signifying a blessed and independent nation and filling the people's hearts with patriotism for the upcoming 29th National Day celebration.
The event which took place at the vicinity of the Yayasan Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah complex also signified the start of the hoisting of the national flags in residential areas, government and corporate buildings nationwide.
The guest of honour who officiated the ceremony was Pehin Orang Kaya Pekerma Laila Diraja Dato Seri Setia Awg Hj Hazair bin Hj Abdullah, the Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports.
The recital of Surah Al-Fatihah and thanksgiving prayers was led by Mudim Hj Ahmad Kasra bin Hj Ibrahim, the Imam of Sultan Omar 'Ali Saifuddien Mosque, marking the start of the ceremony, followed by a welcoming remark delivered by Hj Md Rozan bin Dato Paduka Hj Md Yunos, the Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports.
"Hoisting of the giant flag is an important event for us to have a sense of belonging, nationalism and the spirit of patriotism as citizens and residents of Brunei Darussalam. In waving the national flag, we also admit our role as the people of Brunei to lead the development, advancement and to defend the independence and sovereignty of the country. It also reflects the unity and solidarity, as well as the symbol of a great Islamic nation," said the Permanent Secretary.
The ceremony saw Royal Brunei Navy personnel marching their way to the pole after the flag was handed over to them by the minister. The giant flag measuring 12 by 24 feet, fluttering on a 110-foot-high pole in the centre of the capital in front of the Sir Muda Omar 'Ali Saifuddien Mosque has been used for the occasion since 2001.
The flag was slowly raised accompanied by the Sultanate's 'Allah Peliharakan Sultan' national anthem performed by a choir group consisting of students from Sayyidina Umar Al-Khattab Secondary School and Pengiran Anak Puteri Hajah Masna Secondary School and led by the Royal Brunei Police Force band.
Yesterday's ceremony ended with the handing over of flags and posters of the 29th National Day celebration by the guest of honour to district officers of Brunei-Muara, Tutong, Belait and Temburong districts.
Also in attendance were YAM Pengiran Seri Wijaya Pengiran Haji Ahmad bin Pengiran Mohd Yusof, Senior Assistant Chief of Adat Istiadat Negara; Datin Paduka Hjh Adina bind Othman, Deputy Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports; members of the Legislative Council, Permanent Secretaries at the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports; Major General Dato Paduka Seri Hj Aminuddin Ihsan bin Pehin Orang Kaya Saiful Mulok Dato Seri Paduka Hj Abidin, Commander of the Royal Brunei Armed Forces; and Pehin Orang Kaya Pendikar Alam Dato Paduka Seri Awg Hj Hasrin bin Dato Paduka Hj Sabtu, Commissioner of the Royal Brunei Police Force; as well as senior officers from respective ministries and departments.
--Courtesy of Borneo Bulletin