Peace a gift of God
By Sonia K. and Grace Jiu

His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam yesterday expressed his confidence on the Royal Brunei Armed Forces' progress and modernisation that undoubtedly will produce a generation of leaders and dynamic military personnel.

His Majesty made the titah during the Royal Brunei Armed Forces (RBAF) 45th Anniversary at the Taman Sir Muda Haji Omar Ali Saifuddien in the capital.

This year's anniversary theme is 'Competitiveness in Strengthening National Defence'.

His Majesty, who is also the Supreme Commander of the Royal Brunei Armed Forces, in the titah reminded that peace is something that cannot be bought since it's a gift from Allah the Almighty.

His Majesty said the country is blessed with peace because of the inner purity of its people, which include deep religious beliefs and devotion.

The ruler said many countries want peace but not many have succeeded in attaining it. This proves that peace is not a commodity or something that can be built but more of God's will.

If a country's leader and its people are faithful to Allah, then by God's will peace will dawn upon them, said the monarch.

In His Majesty's view, there is no other institution that needs more of Allah's assistance than the armed forces.

This assistance, said His Majesty, will not come easily but through hard work and prayers.

In this regard, the monarch congratulated the RBAF for its efforts to establish its very own religious department.

His Majesty expressed his confidence that the establishment of this department will increase the capabilities of the RBAF in increasing the motivation and strengthen the military discipline using the essence of the Islamic religion.

His Majesty said he has seen signs of the RBAF moving forward and modernising especially with the establishment of the defence and strategic institution, the setting up of the military academy and the scholarship scheme for students that have excelled in their O and A levels.

This step, undoubtedly, will produce a generation of leaders as well as dynamic military personnel.

The ceremony was also attended by His Royal Highness Prince General Hj Al-Muhtadee Billah, the Crown Prince, HRH Prince 'Abdul Malik, HRH Prince 'Abdul Azim and HRH Prince 'Abdul Mateen.

Also in attendance were Deputy Minister of Defence Pehin Datu Singamanteri Colonel (R) Dato Paduka Haji Mohammad Yasmin bin Haji Umar and RBAF Commander Pehin Datu Lailaraja Major General Dato Paduka Seri Haji Awang Halbi bin Haji Md Yussof.

The ceremony started with His Majesty consenting to receive a Royal Salute and inspecting the mass parade. His Majesty then witnessed the regimental slow and quick march performed by some 1,600 armed forces personnel from the five main services of the RBAF. The mass parade segment ended with a spectacular fly past of helicopters of the Royal Brunei Air Force.

The second part of the morning ceremony consisted of the arena performance by some 600 personnel of the RBAF. This event included Silent Precision Drill squad involving 100 personnel of the Royal Brunei Land Forces. Eight paratroopers from the Royal Brunei Land Forces landed at the end of the precision drill performances.

The showcase continued with the martial arts demonstration of Taekwondo by Military Police Unit, gymnastic performance by Physical Trainers of the Royal Brunei Armed Forces and physical training demonstration using logs and medicine balls by the 130th Intake of Recruit Company of the RBAF Training Institute.

The event, among others, also saw Stick Drills by Senior Non-Commissioning Officers of the RBAF and the finale involving an unarmed combat demonstration by the Royal Brunei Land Force along with a special poetry declamation by members of RBAF Spouses' Welfare Body (BAKTI).

At the end of this segment, the song "Pahlawan BangsaKu" was played, stirring the spirit of patriotism among those present.

His Majesty, who is also the Minister of Defence, then consented to officiate the Royal Brunei Armed Forces Static Display in Jalan Pretty. Later, His Majesty was presented with yet another showcase of a 45-vehicle parade.

His Majesty and His Royal Highness Prince General Haji Al-Muhtadee Billah were then ushered to Port View Restaurant to witness the river show.

Some of the highlights of the riverine operations included Search and Rescue mounted by the Diving Unit of Royal Brunei Navy, Insertion and Extraction Technique by Royal Brunei Air Force and Anti-Terrorist Ship Boarding mounted by Special Combat Squadron in collaboration with Royal Brunei Air Force personnel.

Marking the end of this section was a parade by Royal Brunei Navy ships and Special Combat Squadron Fast Boat and participating helicopters of the Royal Brunei Air Force.

His Majesty and His Royal Highness consented to receive pesambah and attended the luncheon at Yayasan Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Complex with other dignitaries. At the luncheon, His Majesty consented to cut the anniversary cake and signed the parchment in conjunction with the special occasion. - Borneo Bulletin (1st June 2006)